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London: Software engineers at data recovery leader Kroll Ontrack have developed a new technology that can drastically reduce the amount of time it takes to recover encrypted hard drives with a logical or physical failure – a key development in light of the growing number of cyber threats that are driving the adoption of encrypted drives. The company’s new automated decryption technology allows engineers to target only areas of the hard drive that have been used while also automating the decryption process – improving the typical industry recovery turn time dramatically.


A typical recovery project involving an encrypted drive can take up to five days to complete using traditional solutions. CA Technologies estimates IT downtime costs North American companies $26.5 billion per year, at an average cost of $42,000 per hour according to Gartner, Inc.

“Simply put, the longer a company is without its data, the more money it loses,” said Paul Le Messurier, data recovery operations manager, Kroll Ontrack. “We know our new ‘decryption-on-the-fly’ technology represents a true breakthrough for the data recovery industry because it can make a significant impact on a company’s ability to rebound from an IT outage or other potentially catastrophic events with minimal damage to the business.”

As with all encrypted drives, Kroll Ontrack works with customers to securely procure their network credentials. The technology then uses proprietary imaging software to target areas of the drive with user data rather than imaging the entire drive. It then uses automation technology to decrypt those areas, allowing Kroll Ontrack to begin the recovery process earlier and complete it faster. This entire process can cut turnaround time from days to hours.

The number of encrypted hard drives in use has steadily risen alongside an increase in cyber security threats that can expose critical personal and business information. Kroll Ontrack, for example, has seen the amount of recovery projects that involve encrypted hard drives more than double since 2009.