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Data Recovery: The Importance Of Testing Disaster Recovery Plans

Aug 17, 2007
A saturated number of companies are relying too much on the data recovery plans that they have. They falsely think that their data recovery measures are working just fine when in fact, no one knows for sure just how they work or how they are implemented.

The issue is not about the data recovery itself. The trouble lies in the reality that no single person is tasked to take action in the event of data loss and thus no proper plan is set up to be followed through.

Testing data recovery plans is considered risky by many since it usually involves simulating complete system failure, a scenario no one wants to get too acquainted with. Loss of data as a result of a minor glitch in data recovery could very well lead to a substantial amount of data mining work.

Its really quite sad that for many businesses, disaster recovery is a measure that only garners attention after some major catastrophe, like computer viruses, terrorist attacks, or natural calamities.

The September 11 attack on the World Trade Center made a great impact on the data recovery industry. Subsequently, several large companies looked on to data mining and data recovery as a worthy investment for their money.

'Initially and quite rightly, there was a gut reaction from many organizations to take a serious look at their disaster recovery plans, but investment has now levelled off as these plans have reached a more acceptable level', Bill Pepper, head of security risk management at Computer Sciences Corporation said.

Data recovery software Veritas outlines in their recent survey that about 97 % of respondents affirmed that system outages are their biggest problem but only 72 % have recovery plans, which they never even tested.

This serious deficit in maintaining truly effective plans could expose the careers of many. A lot of company board members are already in trouble because of this failure to keep their data recovery plans in top condition.

Head of business continuity at LogicaCMG, Jeanette ONeil explained that a process has been placed at board level to ensure that the board has the legal burden of assessing companies for any data recovery risks. This process would be executed via the Turnbull Report, which also contains the Code of Conduct and Ethics on Corporate Governance.

To seal success in this venture, the people responsible made it so that the board would be committing a breach in its legal obligations if they fail in providing a detailed understanding of the risks and potential losses involved with the plans used, and miss coming up with a solution for business continuity.

And yet, despite all these measures taken and even with todays technology, no program or software for data recovery could ever be considered fool-proof. Disaster recovery boards are only there to keep data loss and damage at a minimum.
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