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Restoration & Recovery Plan

Data recovery is often construed to mean the process by which data which can not be accessed normally using the host operating system is recovered (Mace, 1988). This data is normally recovered from storage devices such as hard disk drives, tapes, CDs, DVDs etc. Damaged, corrupted or failed secondary storage media may lead to inaccessibility of data and thus the need to find ways of recovering the inaccessible data.

Data recovery is therefore a requirement only when there is a physical damage to the storage devices or in an event of logical damage especially to a file system which blocks its mounting on the host operating system such as windows. Data recovery is necessary because physical damage on both primary and secondary storage devices, logical damage to file system, intentional deletion for malicious purposes, hacking, etc may lead to inaccessibility to very important information thus impeding the normal smooth operation of an organization.

For instance, a banks database containing all its account holders with information and records of transactions may be accidentally or intentionally damaged thus affecting virtually all the operations of the bank. This paper seeks to highlights a step by step strategic plan that can be used to recover data (that may be stolen, altered or destroyed) and thereby restoring the normal information system operations especially in an event of technical failure or an attack on the system.

Before the step by step strategic plan for data recovery an the subsequent restoration of the operations of the information system is delivered, it is important to note the fact that that generally, the information systems that are used to intake or generate, process, store and distribute data and information which is classified and utmost important in the operations of the organization need to be highly protected not only against unauthorized access to the data/information but also against the loss of data or stalling of the operations of the system (Tipton & Krause, 2005).

The protection guarantees the availability of data and the system itself. Further, the protection holds as a requirement, a balanced approach under the faculties of security features and protective measures. The security features faculty may include operational, computer, administrative physical and communication aspect of the information system. The protective measures faculty on the other hand may involve issues like the nature of the classified information, the threat the information or system faces and the system’s environmental requirements.

Both the two faculties need to be balanced when addressing protection of data and information system operations. However much protection is beefed up there comes instances when the system itself fails or stalls unexpectedly threatening the availability of the data itself and the operation of the information system. Further, there may be successful attempts to sabotage the system and the data therein. When this happens, the focus is shifted from how did this happen? To how can we manage to recover data and restore information system operations?

Such question will help lay down a step by step plan for creating strategies for restoration of information system operations in the event of an attack or failure and for the recovery of data that may be stolen, altered (Webster, 2006). The strategic plan will follow through two main spheres namely the recovery of data especially after physical damage and the restoration of system operations especially after a logical damage. Data recovery Strategies Use of Back-up Strategy

Back-up is usually a strategy that is usually used in an event of data loss as a result of fire, accidental or malicious and intentional data deletion. It involves offsite storage of a copy of the data and information currently in use. The back-up may be local or remote but whichever the case it provides a copy the lost data or information. To use this strategy, optical discs such as CDs or DVDs are used to store not only user stored data such as bills, employee database, client database etc. but also system data such as program files. Tape drives and additional hard disks can also be used.

Additional hard disks are better than the tape drives or permanent or rewritable optical discs because its probability of physical damage is smaller and it has a higher storage capacity (Lowe, 2007). It is therefore the most appropriate when making back-up of a mass of user stored data. Tape drives are slow and mechanical in that you have to be there to turn them as compared to the optical disks which despite them being slow to write to they are highly reliable, less bulky and faster to read from. Back-ups are used to copy the present database and stored elsewhere.

However, the most reliable and more advantageous than local back up is the use of remote back-ups, which one can easily access and update immediately without hassle. For instance, if you accidentally deleted a given file, you can easily get its copy that had initially been stored in the internet storage which is relatively faster. The remote back-ups are also advantageous in that they can be updated from time to time adding up to the already stored data. For instance, a bank can send the new data of new customers to the remote back-up on a daily basis and in an event that there is data lose (Hayes, 2002).

However, in an event that the system has just stalled and data cannot not be accessed, then the data in the hard disk can be retrieved by simply swopping the hard disk to another working information system and proceed with the operations. Alternatively, the system may be repaired or its faulty parts changed to enable operation and thus retrieval of the data and restoration of operation. Data integrity may be maintained by simply encrypting the back-ups to ensure that the backups are tamper free and thus the guarantee that information cannot disappear or mad to disappear from back ups (Lehtinen et al, 2006).

Further, to spread the risk of losing vital back ups, it is necessary to prepare multiple copies of backup and offer it to different personalities. The data type and nature determines the kind of back up to be used. If the data is progressive and incremental in nature, for example bank customer database in that the existing customer data may be added or removed or new customers are added or removed on a daily basis, requires a real backups which preserve the full initial image plus records of incremental and progressive changes over time.

This back up time is advantageous in that the organization recovers the entire data besides the previous versions of individual files. This is enabled by dedicated software for back-up functions such as Dantz retrospect (Mohay et al, 2003). The only disadvantage of this is that the data can only be restored by retrospect themselves and if they fail to do so then no one else will and that will mean permanent loss of data. What about data that gets lost as a result of physical damage to the storage devices?

Data, as mentioned earlier, may be lost due to physical damage on the storage devices such as the hard disk. For instance, the CD-ROMs may be scratched off or the heads crash, motors fail etc. In such an event, a number of ways can be use to retrieve and restore the data and information. First, the damage may be fixed by replacing damaged parts of the hard disk before the data can be retrieved only if data inaccessibility is cause primarily by damage on the hard disk parts.

This can make the hard disk function and thereby enabling retrieval of data but it has to be performed in ISO-5 clean labs or Class 100 clean rooms owned by firms that carry out data recovery so as to protect the storage media from absorbing dust which will complicate and compromise the data recovery process (Caelli et al, 1989). . Finally, data lost as a result of logical damage to the hard disk may be retrieved as well but the methodologies used are delicate and costly but the data to be retrieved is worth more. Some of the methodologies used include printed circuit board removal and replacing it with a new one to enable read the data.

This is done when the Hard Disk’s system area is damaged. However, imaging of the damaged Hard Disk, (Heiberger et al, 2003), can also be performed in a bid to recover data. This helps create an image of the HDD’s surface readable data which can then be studied for a comprehensive data reconstruction having identified and repaired the logical damage. References Lowe D, (2007): Networking for Dummies for Dummies Publishers, p301-5 Mace P, (1988): Guide to Data Recovery, Prentice Hall publishers, pp2-5, Heiberger et al, (2003): The Backup Book-Disaster Recovery from Desktop to Data Center Network Frontiers Publishers, pp389-393

Mohay et al, (2003): Computer and Intrusion Forensics, Artech House Publishers, p115 Tipton F & Krause M (2005): Information Security Management Handbook CRC Press, p438 Webster M, (2006): Data Protection in the Financial Services Industry: Managing Compliance and Risk, Gower Publishing, Ltd. Hayes I S, (2002): Just Enough Wireless Computing, Prentice Hall PTR, p352 Lehtinen et al, (2006): Computer Security Basics, O’Reilly Publishers, p141 Caelli et al, (1989): Information Security for Managers, Stockton Press, p45

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