Forensics firms clean up through user ignorance

Brief: A data recovery firm says users are failing to heed warnings to back up vital data and are fuelling the information recovery industry

Companies are lining the pockets of information-recovery experts by ignoring warnings and failing to back up data, a data forensics company said on Tuesday.

Speaking at an Information Security Systems Association (ISSA) conference in London, Clive Carmichael-Jones of data recovery company Vogon said that people were ignoring warnings to save their data offsite and were fuelling his company's revenues through ignorance.

"We say 'back up your data', but we know that no one will," said Carmichael-Jones, an operations director at Vogon. "We would be out of business if they did. We're still here and we're overloaded with inquiries. What does that tell you?"

Carmichael-Jones said that digital attacks could be launched from almost anywhere in the world and that companies needed to be better prepared for them.

"Intellectual property can be stolen by someone in China, Germany or just sitting next to you. You have to be able to deal with that."

Most companies that Vogon investigated had weaknesses in their security policies, Carmichael-Jones added, and this was how the breaches tended to occur.

"In every case we investigate, we find a policy weakness. It is very difficult to try and get this right as organisations are evolving. You might not think that's a gem of wisdom, but that's the fact of the matter," he said.