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Data Recovery for Government Organisations

The need to recover data can happen to anyone. It can happen in the home, perhaps due to a lack of a backup plan. It can happen in business, perhaps due to a natural disaster. It can also happen in government organisations. The thing is, government offices and agencies often have unique needs and challenges that other types of businesses don’t have.

Take Nottingham City Council in the United Kingdom, for example. Earlier in the year they had to spend £10,500 to recover data that they’d lost due to a failed legacy server. A report from the council claimed that “due to incomplete backups of data, the server was not integrated into the council's standard back-up regime, and copies of data are not available for recovery.”

This is a local council and the data they hold could be widely varying. It could simply be internal staff records or it might be personal information regarding local citizens. Recovering government data will need to be done securely, quickly and professionally, which is why a lot of data recovery companies have arms that specifically handle government work.

There are varying data privacy and security regulations across the world, but let’s look at the US specifically. Various regulations within the country include the National Institute of Standards & Technology, Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Different government departments will need to keep in line with different regulations and it is a data recovery company’s job to ensure that they work within those lines.

DriveSavers is an example of such a company. They have recovered critical data for agencies such as the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, NASA Godard Space Center and The Smithsonian Institution. They are also the only company in the industry that post proof of annual, company-wide SOC 2 Type II Audit Reports that are performed on their data hosting and processing control systems.

“Organizations may use third-party vendors to recover data from failed storage devices. Organizations should consider the security risk of having their data handled by an outside company and ensure that proper security vetting of the service provider is conducted before turning over equipment. The service provider and employees should sign non-disclosure agreements, be properly bonded and adhere to organization-specific security policies,” reads the guidelines issued by The National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Another organisation that meets government standards is Kroll Ontrack. They have a team of nearly 200 recovery engineers, some who have the required government clearance to handle sensitive data, meaning that data can be recovered quickly and efficiently. They are the only data company to have been twice awarded the James S. Cogswell Award by the US Department of Defence. Their facilities meet the specifications, they document everything and hey use GSA Schedule pricing.

Some data recovery companies will work to these high, stringent standards no matter who their customer. Wherever the data has come from – home, business or government – it’s going to be sensitive and needs to be handled professionally. Be sure to hunt around for the best recovery company and don’t just choose the cheapest option.


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