TVB Interview 2003 May
Nice talking to you over the phone, as mentioned Finance Magazine -- a 30-minute financial news programme every Sunday on TVB Jade, is working on a feature programme of computer Data Recovery and Data Erasure.
With the outbreak earlier this year of the leaking of a PC that contains criminal records and information of the Wanchai Police Station, the public has become more aware of Data erasure and recovery.
We would like to introduce in our show about market situation so far, available services, business trends, market, potential, etc...
IntelliRecovery, being one major player in the business, we very much like to include it in our show. Questions for interview are as follow:
TVB News Financial Producer - Q John - A
Q : When has this data recovery / erase business become popular in Hong Kong?
A : To me, Data Recovery needs go hand in hand with the popularity of computers. I would say that the up rise in the general public utilizing computers for their everyday use is when data recovery came into high use.
In our opinions, there are a few trends that influence data recovery today:
There is more data now being stored on smaller spaces. There was a time years back when Hard drives stored 40 Megabytes of data. Today, the standards have risen where we commonly see drives store up to 9 Gigabytes of data. With more and more data squeezed into smaller spaces and denser areas, the mechanical precision of hard drives become crucial.
With our faced paced world based on efficiency, data today has become more mission-critical. From bank transactions, Tax documents, a college student's Thesis, Payroll records, and more. This data which is in many instances stored within PC's and laptops, are set up relying on these machines to start up daily. Once lost or broken, this data could mean an entire company to come to a screeching halt. A company may go bankrupt, the IT manager may lose his/her job, companies may lose faithful customers. These are great liabilities that we place on our computers every day. A risk most people in the world take for granted.
Q : Of course without naming or identifying your clients, what are the major information they would want to recovery? Why does this demand suddenly emerge?
A : Clients require the recovery of any and all types of data today. As stated before, it may be business urgent information such as company reports but data on a more personal matter are also just as important to customers. Data such as the infant pictures to their newborn or perhaps pictures from a family's trip around the world. These instances come about often and become some of our most gratifying recoveries we have.
Q : What do people do in the past when there wasn't service provided in Hong Kong?
A : In the past, people could do nothing to remedy the problem except re-do what they were working on or simply claim it a total loss. This is a painful situation probably many people have faced at one point or another.
Many people today still do not know that data recovery exists. In many cases, when this un-expected crisis hits, they are totally helpless and have no idea on where to turn for help. Data Recovery is a very specialized field which requires experience. An inexperienced engineer in many cases could instead make matters worse.
Q : Some concept of business turnover in Hong Kong say since establishment? what is the business nature? How do you charge for each case? Why do charges range from several hundred US to tens of thousands US dollars?
A : We in many cases compare data recovery to surgery in a hospital. Health care is extremely expensive because you have specialists who have spent many years to examine, study and research so to provide their patients with the utmost care and best chances of recovery.
Our specialists carry out their jobs in the exact same manner. With our years of experience and specific knowledge of our tools, it gives us the best environment to give customers the best chance of recovery. Vital data that could mean the rise or fall of a company, irreplaceable infant photos that may be gone forever, a doctorate paper which encompasses the educational career of a student. These situations call for the very best engineers, the latest and greatest software as well as the appropriate laboratories necessary to allow the highest chances of recovery.
Equipment required include a class 100 clean room located within our United States laboratory. A class 100 clean room is a clean room which has an environment where air born particulates are controlled through an exchange of highly filtered air using a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtering system, and through minimization of activities that generate particles. It maintains less than one hundred particles larger than 0.5 microns in each cubic foot of air space.
In addition to particle control, the clean room is temperature and humidity controlled to 70F, 45% RH.
Q : Again without identifying your clients, any interesting cases your can recall? (such as a client willing to spend big money on recover pictures with his wife, or his dog .....)
A : Yes, there are countless cases of individuals who lose valuable and priceless family photos. We had a many cases where a person went on a huge life altering vacation, came home to find out the flash memory disk they stored all of their data on no longer detected any data. To them, this experience captured a huge time in his life so needless to say, he wanted his data back!
Another instance came when a CEO of a company had his laptop malfunction which left much of his valuable data missing. Valuable data with lists of contacts, charitable event information, private bank statements, etc. This is a very powerful man who needed his data urgently.
A group of university scientists has research data that was vital to their projects. Their HDD all of a sudden went dead with much of their research residing within the drive. We were required to recover this important data, and needless to say the scientists were waiting by the phone every minute. Luckily, their data was fully recovered and they learned a very important lesson to back up religiously.
Q : Why is data recovery need when there are many different kinds of data backup softwares available?
A : Many people say that Backup technology should remedy any data recovery issues. What people forget is that there are many steps in backing up a system. What people do not realize is that there are multiple steps in a backup which could cause an incomplete or full failure. They fail because the systems are designed with a set of requirements that rely on a combination of technology and human intervention for success. For example, backup systems assume that hardware is in working order; they assume that the user has the time and the technical expertise necessary to perform the backup properly; they assume that the backup tape or cartridge is in working order; and they assume that the backup software is not corrupted.
Backups are in many instances not carried out at every hour or even everyday. Because of this, our latest reports, latest emails, or latest documents could be stored and not backed up. Backups for many companies are performed by unqualified IT administrators, backups are seldomly looked over and checked on, and human errors come into play in most cases. (Ex. Forgetting to backup certain folders that are
Q : In our show we would also like to incorporate some information and statistics from a more macro point of view, such as: business turnover, and market potential, demand for recovery/erasure in say 2002, or money spent on the issues, etc.. as far as you know or your marketing department in the U.S. Headquarters, have they compile this sort of study or where can we find more info?
A : The leading causes of data loss:
Hardware of System Malfunction 44%
Human Error 32%
Software Program Malfunction 14%
Natural Disasters 3%
Hardware or System Malfunction:
44% of all data losses are caused by hardware or system malfunction.
► Error message stating that the device is not recognized
► Previously accessible data is suddenly gone
► Scraping or rattling sound
► Hard drive may not spin
► Computer or hard drive does not function
► Electrical failure
► Head/media crash
► Controller failure
32% of all data losses are caused by human error.
► Previously accessible data is suddenly gone
► Accidental deletion
► MIS/Administrator mistakes
► Trauma caused by drop or fall
Software Corruption or Program Malfunction:
14% of all data losses are caused by software corruption or program malfunction
► Error message stating that data is inaccessible or corrupted
► Memory errors
► Computer malfunction
► Software application will not load data
► Corruption caused by diagnostic or repair tools
► Failed backups
► Configuration complexity
7% of all data losses are caused by computer viruses
► Message appears on screen. For example, the Stoned virus states, "Your computer is now stoned.
► Blank screen
► Strange and unpredictable behavior
► Error message stating, "File not found.
3% of all data losses are caused by natural disasters.
While floods, fires and hurricanes have visible symptoms, lightning strikes and brownouts often leave no clue other than that you will not be able to access data that was previously there.
Examples: Floods, Lightning/brownouts, Fires, Earthquakes/hurricanes.
Top 10 Data Protection Tips
- Back up data and test restore capabilities on a regular basis. Verify that the correct data is backed up.
- Keep your computer in a dry, controlled environment that is clean and dust-free. Set up your computer in an area with very little traffic to ensure that it does not get bumped.
- Only entrust your data to someone who has the training and expertise to properly maintain and repair it.
- Use diagnostic and repair utilities with caution. Never use file recovery software if you suspect an electrical or mechanical drive failure.
- Use anti-virus software and update it at least four times per year.
- Check all incoming diskettes for viruses. This includes packaged software, software carried on-site by users and software downloaded via modem, bulletin board services or the Internet.
- Never attempt to operate a visibly damaged hard drive. Do not use any storage device that has been exposed to heat, moisture or soot.
- Do not shake or remove the covers on hard drives or tapes.
- Use a UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) for proper power protection.
- Immediately turn off your computer if it begins making an unusual noise. Further operation may damage it beyond repair.
Please feel free to contact me at the numbers below, it would be nice if we can arrange an interview with you say at about 2:30pm Wednesday afternoon if its a good time for you.
Thank you for your attention!
TVB News Financial Producer
20 May 2003
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