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 Post subject: How to get into physical data recovery (professionally)?
PostPosted: February 17th, 2021, 10:18 
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Joined: February 17th, 2021, 5:42
Posts: 2
Location: Germany
I have been interested in physical/hardware based data recovery for a very long time, but I still ask myself (and now you) how to professionally become an expert on that topic. Yes, there are a lot of information that you can read here or there, meanwhile there are even products and product-teachings available (e.g. by ACELabs and Cellebrite) but those seem like very small pieces of the puzzle.

Looking at career pages of "looking not so suspicious" companies in Central Europe like Ontrack (Germany) or Seagate Recovery Services (Netherlands) it seems like nobody is ever looking for something like "entry level engineers". When asking data recovery companies for "how to become a data recovery specialist in your company" most companies do not reply at all, which makes me feel like the "many data recovery specialist act like their knowledge/skillset is much higher than it actually is" stereotype is true for many companies in this field.

Having a Background in Computer Science (M.Sc.), Computer Forensics and IT Security and because of personal interest I know quite a few things about file systems, hardware functionality, cryptography and even binary analysis -- all valuable skills in this field -- but I still have no idea how to get into physical data recovery the professional way. It feels like many "upcoming experts" just start their own business and try their best, putting clients data at risk because they don't know better and therefore hide behind a "mysterious skillset". Having worked as a forensic expert some "professionals" were not even willing to show their "lab" to potential partners (the idea of the company that I worked for back then was to outsource hardware recovery but due to this lack of transparency I think the company tells customers that they cannot help them even today.)

So what is your experience, how did you end up being a data recovery professional (if you are)?

Thanks for Reading.


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 Post subject: Re: How to get into physical data recovery (professionally)?
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2021, 8:15 
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Joined: February 17th, 2021, 5:42
Posts: 2
Location: Germany
I got a PM from a user regarding this topic but I cannot find a button to answer the pm (may I am not registred long enough?), so I will answer here instead:

My ideal scenario would be to work at a company where some people care about the non-technical stuff that is needed (accounting, sales, maybe discover replacement part etc.) and some more experienced (data recovery) specialists are around to learn from. I am not sure wheather I would prefer learning "on the job" or in trainings, but I think many aspects that you would usually put in trainings (fundamentals) are already known to me.

I dont feel comfrotable being one of those freelancers that try to learn say "mid-level skills" on my own and on-demand putting customers data at risk.


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 Post subject: Re: How to get into physical data recovery (professionally)?
PostPosted: February 23rd, 2021, 19:20 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
Posts: 3443
Location: Hungary
people in DR are ugly and envy, they do not like to share info for nothing. Disgusting.
I have a strong urge to throw up because i have to live in one flesh with one.

Education is not free. It looks like you learn for free in schools, but it is not free. Govmnt pays that from all other citizens' taxes. A huge amount of money goes into that. All the info researched by people working in this field takes a loooot of time, and it is not paid by anybody else than paying clients. There are some folks who don't have to worry about money because they are fed from other sources, they don't care about time, but most of us are working hard to get somewhere, feed family, etc. And we don't have yachts, residences at the beach, private planes, just try to keep our business going and keep it up to date. I would be glad to find somebody worth teaching, but it seems like i have too high standards.

pepe

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Adatmentés - Data recovery
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 Post subject: Re: How to get into physical data recovery (professionally)?
PostPosted: February 24th, 2021, 3:43 
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Joined: August 18th, 2010, 17:35
Posts: 3467
Location: Massachusetts, USA
forensicronny wrote:
So what is your experience, how did you end up being a data recovery professional (if you are)?

Becoming a "data recovery professional" is a journey, just like any other domain.
If you have the know-how, experience and good tools, then you can offer a professional service.

In terms of hiring, most smaller data recovery companies look for people who have hands-on experience with mechanical work, electronics/electrical work, along with specialized knowledge on popular tools used in the industry. Or at least have high aptitude in those areas and is willing to start on the lower side of the salary. Knowledge in the forensic area is more of a bonus.
Obviously, it is tougher to find job openings nowadays, as not that many positions are available, especially given the economic recession and health issues we are dealing with.

Since there is always an issue with finding positions, it is precisely the reason why people start their own data recovery business.

In terms of hiring by hard drive manufacturers or very larger data recovery companies, they often develop people, because the focus is more on low salary, rather than highly knowledgeable people who demand a respectable salary. So, this seems to not be a good fit for you, as you likely fall in this category.

If you want to get in this field and money is not an issue, then the best thing to do is start practicing on damaged drives with investment in some free or lower cost tools in the beginning.
If it is something you like doing, then consider investing in more advanced tools and training to accelerate your knowledge. Ace Labs training is the best all-around choice, but it is recommended to be ready to commit in buying their tools if you take the training. Without the tools, you forget what you were taught during training.

Also, if you strongly want to work for a smaller data recovery company, then work for free for a while. If your skills will be worth investing in, then the company will hire you for the long-term. Otherwise, the only other way is to start your own business.

Overall, this industry does not have a very bright future. The technology is getting increasingly more complex, therefore more difficult and expensive to recover the files. Furthermore, people are getting poorer and poorer, thus difficult to justify their investment in recovering their files. This directly impacts jobs and many companies are trying to stay profitable by replace higher paid employees with lower wage employees, or simply fire/layoff people. So, not really sure it is worth pursuing a career in it.

Perhaps for you, if at your age makes sense, it is best to pursue a career in law enforcement with a forensic focus. The trend is for law enforcement agencies to buy tools and develop staff in house by sending them to Ace Lab training. Why? Because they have decent budgets from government funding based off of public's money (taxes). This is not nice, but that is how the game seems to be played.

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Hard Disk Drive, SSD, USB Drive and RAID Data Recovery Specialist in Massachusetts


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