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The description of the company
I would like to start a company that would specialize in such branches of computer forensics as data recovery and prevention of data loss. I have chosen this specific activity because these services may be required by both governmental and private organizations. On the whole, data loss is one of those problems faced by many customers, and many of them may ask for our assistance. Data recovery is essential for business continuity, and those enterprises which suffered from this problem spare no costs in order to restore valuable information. The company, which I intend to start, will help clients to restore information that has been damaged, erased, corrupted or made inaccessible in any way. We will work with various data storage media such as hard-disk drives, digital versatile disks, compact disks, flashcards, and even floppy disks. We will do both hardware recovery and non-hardware recovery. At this point, I can refer to Fields Data Recovery that is a good example of the firm that I would like to open or supervise.
The type of work it does
This company has worked in this field for eighteen years; they recover data from a large variety of storage media, for example, desktop and laptop hard drives, CDs DVDs, backup tapes, MP3 players, NAS, SAN and so forth (Fields Data Recovery, 2010 unpaged). The offices of this firm are located across the United States and in different regions of the world, in particular in France, Middle East (Dubai) and the United Kingdome (Fields Data Recovery, 2010 unpaged). They address the needs of various customers: 1) governmental and federal agencies; 2) private businesses; 3) healthcare organizations and 5) financial institutions. Furthermore, it should be mentioned that the employees of this data recovery company are very knowledgeable about storage media, produced by various manufactures such IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Cisco, Seagate and so forth (Fields Data Recovery, 2010 unpaged). In fact, these corporations are the key clients of Fields Data Recovery, and the management of this company has established long-term partnerships with them. Fields Data Recovery Guarantees complete confidentially of the inside information such as IP addresses, telephone numbers, or emails. Thus, this is the type of company which I would like to run. The major success factors for this type of organization are speed, efficiency, and confidentiality.
Equipment required for the lab
At this point it is necessary to determine what kind of technologies will be required for these processes. In this context, the word “technologies” means both equipment and software. In the majority of cases, data recovery companies do not provide information about those technologies which they use, and Fields Data Recovery is not an exception from this rule. The main reason for such secrecy is that they do not want to lose competitive advantage over other firms. Therefore, one can only deduce what kind of tools they apply.
If we are speaking about recovery equipment, we need to mention EnCase and FTK that are suitable for such operation systems as Windows (Casey, 2004, p 264). In turn, Unix-based recovery is based on the use of such tools as the Sleuth Kit and SMART (Casey, 2004, p 264). They are equally suitable for both recovery and analysis of the information. As a rule such toolkits are called hardware-soft-ware complexes. The equipment also includes portable disk imaging devices, allowing to create a single file that contains the entire contents of hard-disk drive or any other storage medium (Casey, 2004).If the hard disk drive has been physically damaged, the technicians must use such devices as magnetometers and soldering irons in order to retrieve files that no longer be restored only by means of software solutions. This is the equipment that they should always have close at hand.
However, one should bear in mind that data recovering companies should also procure different spare parts of a storage medium. Very often, they have to remove hard-disc platters or read-and-write head. So, these organizations must have a regular supply of these component parts to be able to do hardware recovery as quickly as possible. This is one of the reasons why they need to establish continuous relations with the leading manufacturers of storage media such as IBM, Seagate or Transcend. Moreover, they need to know which of these products is more prone to physical or logical failure. This case illustrates the idea that in order to estimate the technological needs of a data recovery company, one has to possess information about the mainstream IT manufacturers and their quality standards. Fields Data Recovery keeps track of the quality standards, set in various companies. This information is partially disclosed at their official website (Fields Data Recovery, 2010).
As far as software solutions are concerned, we can list a large number of programs that may be of great use to companies like Fields Data Recovery. They are as follows: 1) undelete tools; 2) recycle bin replacements; 2) CD rollers, 3) image recall tools (Cross & Shindler, 2008). The employees of such firms use bootable software which is particularly beneficial when the operating system has failed, for instance, boot disks or live USB (Cross & Shindler, 2008, p 314). They also need to apply different consistency checkers that are compatible with different operating systems like Windows, Unix, or Mac OS. Data recovery companies must also possess a large variety of file recovery and repair programs. The functioning of data recovery companies is also impossible without usage of file carving software that enables reassembling the damaged files from separate fragments (Casey, 2004, p 306). Thus, it is possible to argue that the founders or supervisors of a data recovery company need to purchase a great number of software solutions if they want to address their customers’ problems as soon as possible.
One should bear in mind that the development of web-based technologies has provided data recovery companies to operate online. In such scenario, the technician does not actually to gain physical access to the hard-disk drive (Cross & Shindler, 2008). While discussing software solutions, I should say that Fields Data Recovery only restores the damaged information and it seems to me that such company may also provide services for the prevention of data loss. For example, they can install DLP networks, host-based DLP systems, battery backups, and journaling file systems. This type of software may also be required for such firms.
This discussion shows that a data recovery company can provide a great variety of services to a large number of customers, with whom they may establish long-term relations. Nonetheless, in order to open such a business one has to carefully analyze technological needs of such organizations.
Casey E. (2004). Digital evidence and computer crime: forensic science, computers and the Internet. NY: Academic Press.
Cross M. & Shindler D. (2008) Scene of the Cybercrime. London Syngress.Fields Data Recovery. (2010). The Official Website. Web.