KÜRT – Data Recovery and Information Security

Storm damage – lightning data recovery

August 1, 2006

1 August 2006 Budapest – Summer storms and flooding make this one of the most dangerous seasons from the point of view of IT security. Fresh statistics released by the KÜRT Group reveal that almost half of the computer malfunctions that occur during the summer months result from data loss caused by natural evironmental factors. The most important means of preventing such data loss is the correct storage of the computers and backed-up data. However, if the worst has already happened, it is better to seek expert advice than to attempt a home repair, recommends KÜRT.

The KÜRT Group has conducted research into the causes of data loss, based on the results of assignments received from all around the world. Since 2002 the company has prepared statistics – at the parent company and all subsidiaries – regarding the causes of IT disasters. These can be physical (hardware – 60%) or logical (software – 40%) in their nature. Some 70-80% of physically malfunctioning data storage units sent to the company for data recovery had malfunctioned as the result of an operating flaw. The remaining 20-30% were cases of data loss resulting from some form of natural environmental impact. The majority of these (55%) were caused by extreme temperatures, while 30% were the result of electromagnetic phenomena, and 15% were attributable to fire or water damage, or some other environmental disaster (earthquakes, explosions).

According to the KÜRT Group’s global statistics, most cases of this type of data loss occur either in summer or winter. We are currently experiencing one of these high-risk periods, in which the likelihood of freak storms, flash flooding, leaking rooves and lighting strikes is higher than usual.

The company’s international – German and Austrian – branches also receive a great many recovery and restoration assignments from open-air or partially covered sites in the summer months, just as they do in the period of spring flooding. As an example, during the flooding in Germany at the beginning of the year, the premises of a printing house employing 50 staff was waterlogged, rendering the central computer that controlled the factory useless. The database restored by KÜRT using its data recovery procedures was relaunched in a brand new system. Owing to the lightning-fast rescue operation, instead of the one-month of downtime that is normal in such cases – which could have put the company out of business for good – the printing press was able to resume its operations after only three days.

The most common victims of water damage data loss are waterlogged storage mediums, which users unfortunately attempt to restart after (they believe) that they have dried out. In the majority of cases these efforts lead to the total destruction of the device and/or cause it to short-circuit. Nearby or direct lightning strikes can also be devastating, since they cause voltage fluctuations that can easily result in malfunctions that lead to data loss.

KÜRT’s world-beating data recovery technology is the culmination of continuous research and development by the Group. KÜRT’s overall success rate is 82%, with a far lower figure of 50-60% in the case of water damage and electrical discharge. This is just one of the reasons why it is so important to prepare for environmental factors of this kind when planning a server room or the installation of office computers or other types of server.

“It is crucial to store data and backup saves in a suitable place. However, if the worst has already happened, the most important thing is to seek expert advise as soon as possible, in order to obtain clear information regarding the gravity of the situation, the extent of damage suffered by the equipment, and the opportunities for recovery and restoration,” advises József Kmetty, CEO of KÜRT Co.

In the experience of KÜRT’s team of experts, 95% of  this kind of amateur attempt to recover the data – which usually involves rebooting the system – end in failure. In addition, every reboot or reboot attempt reduces the chances of data recovery. In most cases the user’s well-meaning efforts represent the “coup de grace” for the data storage device, along with any information that is stored on it.