How to assess the quality and security credentials of your data recovery vendor

Data recovery cleanroom check list:

1. What industry standards does your cleanroom follow?
Don’t rely on images or video of technicians walking around in cleanroom suits or showing one neatly arranged work space. Verify the type of airflow system and make sure there is a laminar air flow systems in place. These systems use special HEPA filters (high efficiency particulate air filters) that filter out suspended particles only 0.5 micrometers in diameter.

2. What is the total work area of all your clean benches and how many workstations do you have?
Many companies claim to have a cleanroom, but what is really relevant is the total surface of clean benches and number of work stations. The amount a clean working space and number of workstations increases the number of jobs an engineer can work on. Many companies show an image of a single clean cabinet without a work station. In contrast, Kroll Ontrack’s headquarters in Minnesota has 50 meters of bench space and 138 workstations. Its APAC facilities have more than 30 meters of bench space and 70+ workstations in total. The advantages of a large clean area are: economies of scale, lower cost, faster recovery times, more experienced technicians and a higher success rate.

3. Do you have both hardware and software research and development engineers on staff developing your own proprietary solutions? 
The web is awash with off-the-shelf data recovery tools so it easy to set up a data recovery business and give data recovery a try. Verify what tools are used and how competent the engineers are. A good data recovery tool in the wrong hands is still a recipe for disaster. Kroll Ontrack is the only company that has invested more the 25 years in propriety tools and has 1,400+ years of combined data recovery specific technology experience (operations and R&D) working on a wide variety of new data recovery techniques for technologies such as SSD, flash, ReFS, Android and VMware.

4. How do you image data from a damaged drive?
Make sure you data recovery company works from an image of the data. Verify the company uses a safe system to image the data. Make sure your data is disposed of in a secure and verifiable way.

5. How do you ensure data security, privacy and integrity of my data?,.
Ask for the size and setup of the data recovery and data storage facility. Verify capacity and how data and physical security is ensured. Are the data recovery facilities monitored? Where is your data stored? A simple search and street view check will reveal a lot about your vendor. All Kroll Ontrack facilities adhere to the strictest security protocols and are CCTV monitored.

6. How many years of experience do your data recovery engineers have?
First verify how many engineers the company has. It takes many years to train a data recovery engineer in house, and many more to specialize in specific media. All Kroll Ontrack engineers are trained in house, receive regular refreshers and the majority have been with the company for more than seven years. In fact, Kroll Ontrack has 1,400+ years of combined data recovery specific technology experience (operations and R&D).

7. Are you authorized by any hardware vendor, does your work void warranties?
Make sure the work of your chosen data recovery company does not void product warranties. Kroll Ontrack works with leading vendors, and therefore data recovery services by Kroll Ontrack do not usually void warranties. Always check with you manufacturer and check their service pages.