The problem with finding the perfect recipe for protection, detection, and correction is simple: common data security and integrity options (backup and restoration, data re-entry, RAID systems) are not the optimum solutions for all situations. For instance, there is the belief that having a mirrored or RAID system completely protects companies against high risk data loss. There is also the belief that a downed system can be instantly and completely resurrected from data backups. Unfortunately, mirrored and RAID systems fail, and backups can either be outdated or corrupted.

With this is mind, IS executives must understand not only their protection, detection, and correction options, but the advantages and disadvantages each option has to offer. The following information explores these options and the
recovery professionals can successfully augment the current protection, detection and correction:

RAID systems
STRENGTHS: RAID can often provide 100% protection against downtime.
RISKS:
* RAID systems can fall victim to high risk threats, including power problems and human errors.
* Two or more drives may fail at the same time, rendering your entire system unavailable.

Mirrored systems
STRENGTHS: Mirrored systems can provide adequate real-time backup of mission-critical data.
RISKS:
* Mirrored systems are exposed to many threats, ranging from incorrect system configuration to human error.
* If the primary system is corrupted and then mirrored, your primary and mirrored systems are both corrupted.

Backup and restoration
STRENGTHS: By performing regular backups, data can be quickly restored, and business activities can be quickly resumed, after a data loss situation.
RISKS:
* Backups must be made completely and consistently if they are to be of any use. This is no easy task, considering that many networks operate 24 hours a day.
* Tape backups can become corrupted or fall victim to human error.
* Tape restoration retrieves data from the last backup, leaving a “gap” between old and new data. This “gap” necessitates data re-entry or re-creation, adding to the costs in time and money of data loss

Electronic vaulting
STRENGTHS:
* Electronic vaulting can eliminate the hassle and error potential of manual and individual tape backups.
* CD backups may present fewer opportunities for backup media corruption.
RISKS:
* Restoring from electronic vaults may still have a restoration “gap” between old and new data.
* Depending on where the vault is located, and how quickly your data can be retrieved, you may face the expenses
associated with additional downtime.

Anti-virus software
STRENGTHS: Anti-virus software, when used properly, can provide constant protection against virus corruption.
RISKS:
* Viruses are created at an astounding rate. This means that anti-virus software must be consistently updated to remain useful and effective
* An organization’s anti-virus policies are not always followed or are not as good as they could be for proper protection.
* Many companies lack anti-virus plans.

Disaster recovery/business continuity plans
STRENGTHS: These plans can provide the necessary procedures to help an organization resume vital operations and return to normal business functions as quickly as possible following a disaster situation.
RISKS:
* Although they provide procedures on how to set up operations at a hot or cold site, disaster plans often fail to address data recovery concerns and options.
* These plans emphasize major disasters, failing to address everyday incidents of data loss and data corruption.
* People fail to update their disaster plans.

Commercial file recovery software
STRENGTHS: File recovery software can provide the necessary tools to recover lost files.
RISKS:
* In some cases, commercial software can provide a successful data recovery. However, there are instances when these utilities can aggravate an existing problem or fail to give the advanced tools needed for a complete data
recovery.
* Some commercial software products attempt to repair damage to a drive or volume before attempting to recover data. This can lead to additional data loss.

Data re-entry/restoration
STRENGTHS: When files are lost or corrupted, data re-entry can be the easiest and most convenient way to resume normal business functions.
RISKS:
* Data re-entry is not always the most efficient recovery method, especially when the value of time, money, and the data is high.
* With users manally re-creating lost data, the data re-entry process is especially vulnerable to human errors.

Data protection experts (internal and external)
STRENGTHS: An internal or external “expert” can help recover lost or corrupted data.
RISKS: Individuals make the mistake of attaching the “expert” label to anyone who knows more about computers than the individuals do. This means that data recovery operations may be left in the hands of someone unqualified to
properly perform the job. Not only does this put data at risk, it may lead to additional data loss, downtime, and expenses for the company.
Data recovery services

STRENGTHS:
* Data recovery service providers can successfully complete a full data recovery.
* Data recovery service provides a fast turnaround time and quick restoration.
* Data recovery restores your current data.
* Data recovery services are cost-effective.
RISKS:
* The capabilities of all data recovery companies are not the same. Because data recovery tools and techniques are typically developed “in-house,” and because some tools and techniques are more powerful than others, some data recovery companies are better equipped to provide a total recovery.
* In the event of a massive disk drive crash, even a professional data recovery company may be unable to retrieve lost data.

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