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What is Data Recovery

Data recovery involves both preventative, and proactive measures such as loss prevention, as well as reactionary measures for the recovery of digital data. The age-old adage holds true in that prevention is better than cure. At Desert Computer Agents, your PC problems are our PC problems, and we will work with you to solve your needs. We have compiled some information and tips concerning digital data recovery and loss prevention methods that can serve as guidelines for you in both preventative and also reactive digital data recovery.

Sometimes, no matter what you might have tried, it is possible you still cannot figure out how to recover your data. If you are experiencing difficulty with recovering digital data or in the successful implementation of loss prevention methods, please keep in mind that at Desert Computer Agents, we provide a lot of flexibility with repairs and services, we can schedule in-person appointments within 48 hours where one of our technicians will be able to diagnose the problem quickly in your home or office or we can provide remote support where you will always talk to one of our local technicians.

Data Modalities

There are three (3) types of data modalities, and these include data that is at rest, data that is in motion, and data that is in use. Information on data modalities is applicable to either businesses or the individual user. Data at rest includes aspects such as databases, controlling access ports (e.g., Universal Serial Bus (USB), organization and email archives, or physical media storage like disc media (CDs and DVDs). Data that is in motion comprises file transfers, data sharing, instant messaging (IM), or posts on websites. Lastly, data that is in use entails active workstations, servers, and mobile devices that are used as endpoints (ISACA, 2018). There are three (3) reasons for the loss of data, and this can involve people, processes, or technology, and can be either intentional or unintentional.

In regard to the first factor for the loss of data⸺people, and unintentional data loss, this can be a result of one being unaware of the proper use of a program, thereby leading to accidental deletion of data. Meanwhile, intentional data loss could be the result of malicious intent by an outside actor.

As for processes, unintentional data loss may be the result of neglecting the enforcement of administrative privileges for the operating system, and the outcome could be data that does not save correctly (i.e., protected access of the C:/ drive, for example, that often requires read/write access).

When considering technology, data loss can be due to the failure to encrypt data at rest (e.g., USB) which could then otherwise lead to accidental or intentional deletion (ISACA, 2018). One other factor to keep in mind is hardware failure or natural disasters, which could otherwise compromise data. Knowing different data modalities as well as intentional and unintentional causes of data loss is one of the first steps in understanding the data recovery procedure(s) that is/are most applicable to the situation.

Digital Data Recovery

Digital data recovery refers to a reactionary approach to data that has been lost. As mentioned, lost data can be the result of accidentally deleting a file from your recycle bin, or could refer to data that becomes corrupted, though, may still be accessible. Whichever the problem, there is some information to keep in mind as you implement measures toward data recovery.

First of all, when considering data on your computer or a server, when data is deleted, it is not really deleted, but instead sent to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac). You can simply navigate to the Recycle Bin or Trash, right-click on the file, and select ‘Restore’ to restore the file to its location. However, if you delete a file from the Recycle Bin, the file is still not entirely deleted. Rather, the operating system will mark the memory sector as available, and therefore, the operating system removes the reference to the filename, thus causing the system to no longer be able to ‘see’ the file (Hard Drive Recovery Group, 2019). There are programs that you can download that will allow you to ‘recover’ deleted data. However, if data is stored in the location of the deleted file, then the file is overwritten and therefore is permanently deleted.

Loss Prevention Methods



Cloud backups, cloud storage, Windows Backup (requires that you have previously created a ‘Restore’ point (Microsoft.com, 2022)), and dedicated hard media (physical media such as flash drives, external hard drives, or CDs/DVDs) that are encrypted (Ready.gov, 2021), are one of the first loss prevention methods. Though, in conjunction thereto, the human factor must also be addressed. For instance, even when data is encrypted, masked, and made anonymously, it is important that logical controls are in place⸺this means that steps such as cryptographic hashing, integrating passcodes, face ID, or other biometric security (where available), and also safely storing external media in locked storage (Devopedia, 2022) should be considered and used.

In further regard to cloud backups and cloud storage, the ‘cloud’ involves data that is contained in an interconnected global network of physical servers. However, it is important to note that the cloud, itself, is not a physical entity, but is confined to cyberspace (Azure.microsoft.com, 2022). These servers, therefore, allow one to access their data anywhere and at any time. Some examples of cloud storage include Google Drive, for instance, or iOS cloud data. The cloud not only stores data but also allows users to run programs and services, entirely remotely and over the Internet or a private proxy/VPN connection such as SSH protocols (Azure.microsoft.com, 2022).

When using the cloud as a loss prevention method to prevent the need for data recovery, to begin with, the co-founder and CEO of Wasabi, David Friend, recommends a hybrid cloud backup. A hybrid cloud backup involves not only offline, secured physical storage, but also data backups to the cloud. In addition thereof, it is recommended that the ‘three-two-one’ model approach is used with the hybrid cloud model. The ‘three-two-one’ model entails three separate copies of data, and two of the data copies should consist of two different forms of media, and one copy should be offsite (Friend, 2022) (specific to business enterprises, though, for the individual user, two different forms of media might include a cloud backup/cloud storage as well as secured physical media). Touching on an earlier statement, the best loss prevention method will make use of proactive, preventative methods over reactive, after-the-fact techniques.

Sources:
Azure.microsoft.com. (2022). What is the cloud - Definition | Microsoft Azure. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/resources/cloud-computing-dictionary/what-is-the-cloud/.
Devopedia. (2022). Data loss prevention. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://devopedia.org/data-loss-prevention.
Friend, D. (2022). Hybrid cloud backup technology: Key to data loss prevention?. Solutions Review. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://solutionsreview.com/data-storage/hybrid-cloud-backup-technology-key-to-data-loss-prevention/.
Hard Drive Recovery Group. (2019). Deleted files: Where do they go?. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://www.harddriverecovery.org/hard-drive/repair/deleted-files/.
ISACA. (2018). Data loss prevention - Next steps, 1. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://www.isaca.org/-/media/files/isacadp/project/isaca/articles/journal/2018/volume-1/data-loss-prevention-next-steps_joa_eng_0218.
Microsoft.com. (2022). Recover lost or deleted files. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://bit.ly/3eDDZr7.
Ready.gov. (2021). IT disaster recovery plan. Retrieved 17 October 2022, from https://www.ready.gov/it-disaster-recovery-plan.


Desert Computer Agents knows how to handle all these situations, if you don't have a backup method and you need a hand, we can create one for you! Need assistance with your Computer Setup, we're here to help! Just give us a call @ (760) 760-4096.