A Colloquy with Mr Manoj Dhingra, Director & Co-founder at stellar

Stellar is one of the well-known and established brands in the world of data recovery. It has been helping global corporate giants including fortune 500 companies maintain business continuity over the past two decades of operations whenever they have lost critical data including financial information, customer information, business information etc.

Mr Manoj Dhingra, Director and co-founder- Stellar

Mr Manoj Dhingra, Director, Domestic Business, is the co-founder at Stellar and key contributor to the company’s growth in the past 25 years.

A Computer Science Engineering graduate from Pune University, Manoj has been leading the company’s business and operations in India with a focus on growing the overall business with both Corporates and Consumers alike, building up the partner ecosystem, and accelerating the expansion of the company’s revenue and market share in India. In addition to his responsibility for leading India Operations, he manages Stellar’s European subsidiary Stellar Data Recovery B.V. business including technical leadership of this entity.

To comprehend how much data security is crucial for enterprises as well as an individual, we had a conversation with Mr Dhingra, he did not only give us information about Stellar’s ideology but also what measures one should take to make sure his data is secure.

Stellar, a well-known entity in the world, thus, how is your journey so far with it?

Having seen Stellar grow from a 3 member, 1 office location in 1993 to an employee strength of 400 with 3 million-plus happy customers across 190 countries now is certainly a great achievement for our Made in India brand.  I take pride in terming Stellar as the first, certified data recovery company in the country with Innovation and Customer Delight being our core guiding principles. Over 50,000 data service cases per year are handled through our team of expert technicians having an overall experience of over 300 man-years. We have seen how technology has evolved in these many years and with a prime focus to be ahead of the technology curve has kept us going so far. Over the past 26 years, we have consistently channelized our resources and efforts around developing innovative, future-ready solutions that are unrivalled on capability and built with the core purpose of enabling comprehensive data care for individuals and organizations alike.

Tell us about the Indian market for data recovery solutions and what differences are between domestic and international markets?

In the Indian market, people generally prefer data recovery services, they usually reach out to a data care expert; irrespective of the nature of the issue eg. Physical drive crash, Logical failure, etc.

Availability of expert in person enables customers to explain the problem at hand in detail.

In the International market, people look for a convenient way to do data recovery on their own via DIY software.

In the Indian market, Stellar is offering Data Recovery Services through its 15 branch office locations and over 100 local partners in tier 2 and tier 3 cities.  We undertake both physical and logical recoveries of media administered through our state of the art Class 100 clean room data recovery lab.

For the International market, we are offering our D-I-Y software solutions comprising Data Recovery, Data Migration, Data Erasure across 190 countries and through 8000 partners. In addition, we are offering Physical data recovery solution to customers in the EU through our Data Recovery Lab at Utrecht, Netherlands, and in the USA through our partner.

We are serving clients across both B2B and B2C sectors and count several of Fortune 500 corporates amongst our established clients.

Stellar majorly focuses on recovery software, any plans to expand the portfolio to other vertices?

Stellar has been a pioneer data recovery software and service solutions company since 1993. In line with evolving market need, Stellar has expanded its portfolio to become a leading Global Data Care corporation, with expertise in both Data Recovery and Data Erasure software and services. Stellar has been an expert in the domain of data recovery for over past 26 years and has utilized its expertise to develop a Secure & Certified Data Erasure Solution named BitRaser. This ensures data sanitization beyond the scope of any recovery.

Stellar’s BitRaser guarantees to wipe of sensitive data permanently from hard drives, SSDs, desktops, laptops, servers and mobile devices. BitRaser helps safeguard privacy and prevents data leakage when disposing of, donating, returning or reselling old devices. For organizations, it is a perfect tool to mitigate risks and meet statutory & regulatory compliance. This software comes with cloud integration which provides flexibility to create users, manage license distribution & maintain a central repository of reports & certificates. It generates 100% tamper-proof certificate that ensures compliance with EU-GDPR, SOX, GLBA, HIPAA & other international data protection regulations.

We have data protection bill on the anvil of becoming law in Indian Parliament; Stellar has already developed this secure data erasure solution, BitRaser ahead of its demand from the Indian market

When a huge segment of India’s population is still using pirated software, in such scenarios, what is the rate of data loss and how one can recover the same? Any tips would you like to give to improve the data privacy on PC or smartphones.

It is always advisable that a PC or smartphone user must ensure adherence to the following tips to safeguard against data privacy

Use Licensed Software Purchase

This ensures that you avoid the incidence of malware or viruses emanating from use of non-genuine software. These malware or viruses can result in catastrophic consequence in the form of data loss or data theft

Use Certified and Secure data erasure tool/solution

Creating awareness about the secured data recovery solutions and the key importance of using such solutions to safeguard your privacy has always our key objective. We have seen data breach vulnerability that occurs at the time of discarding and reallocation of existing assets or else of old, legacy IT Assets. Stellar conducted world’s largest study for residual data on 2nd hand IT Assets and determined that 7 out of 10 devices were not securely wiped or erased and Stellar was able to cull out data from these assets using simple D-I-Y software. Therefore, in order to secure Data Privacy on PC or smartphones; it is critical to securely erase data from them using a Certified Data erasure tool prior to their disposition or else reallocation to some other project.

What is the difference between the Stellar recovery services and DIY recovery software provided to customers?

Stellar recovery services are available for all kinds of problems ranging from logical, physical, or else logical + physical scenarios.

DIY recovery Software is the first trial option to be used in case of logical failures; failing which you can reach out to Stellar Support and ultimately  Stellar Data Recovery Service.

Both; software and services have different functionality, curated with the different delivery model. While the software portfolio is designed with the most user-friendly interface and provides users with easy access in the comfort of their home. D-I-Y Software (Data Recovery for Windows/Data Recovery for Mac/Photo Recovery software) is the first approach used by customers in the case of logical failures eg. Accidental data deletion or formatting. Data recovery from a logically failed hard drive can be done quickly with careful inspection and specialized Stellar’s data recovery software.

However, in the case where there is Physical damage to the IT Asset eg. Hard Disk crash or in case of destruction of drive-by either fire or water, or even in the case of accidental drop; these need to be addressed by Data Care Experts in a Data Recovery Lab only. Data Recovery from a physically damaged or mechanically failed hard drive is a highly complex task, which requires specialized tools and a dust-free temperature-controlled Class 100 Clean Room lab.

Current awareness among people on data recovery is not substantial, so how an unprofessional data recovery software could be vulnerable?

We do not advise customers to use any unauthorized software application to recover data. One of the biggest risks of downloading a pirated version of online data recovery software is that it makes your system vulnerable to Virus attacks. Ransomware and other malicious software can corrupt your device and the data you have stored in it. The risks you’re then exposed to include access to financial and confidential information, access to your trade secrets, access to customers’ transactions and personal records, PII (Personal Identifiable Information) theft, data loss and destruction of goodwill & reputation.

Likewise in the case of Data Recovery Service, we always recommend the use of professional data recovery service provider like Stellar. The unprofessional service providers do not have the equipment, trained manpower, class 100 cleanroom environment and requisite safeguard for Data Privacy. It is imperative for customers to confirm that their data recovery service provider is ISO 27001 certified; the absence of such certification makes the data on the device vulnerable for breach.

The ISO27001 is the international standard which is recognized globally for managing risks to the security of information that Data Recovery Service Providers hold. Certification to ISO 27001 is a testimony to your clients and other stakeholders that you are managing the security of your client information and thereby safeguarding their data privacy. None of the unprofessional or amateur service providers maintains the data confidentiality as per ISO 27001 standard recommendation which causes a great and direct threat of data leakage of your precious data onto open forums. These kinds of service providers merely take ISO 27001 as a namesake only. We have also come across instances of these amateur or uncertified service providers utilizing pirated software for data recovery and consequently culminating in permanent data loss & disaster for the client.

Why one should prefer Stellar recovery products over the competitors?

As we always say “In the evolving world of data, we care and protect what matters the most to you”. Since 1993, Stellar has been a brand that resonates with trust. Stellar exists because we know that what matters most to you in this digital age is your data. Stellar has South-Asia’s only certified Class 100 Clean Room Lab for Data Recovery. This ensures maximum data recovery since we operate the IT storage media in the same environment in which it is originally produced. Stellar performs 50,000 data recovery jobs every year by trained professionals with over 300+ man-hours of experience. Till date, Stellar has served over 3 Million Happy Customers across 190 countries. Stellar is ISO 9001 certified for quality adherence. Stellar also has ISO 27001 certification, this ensures Data Privacy for all its clients for the data that is recovered. This is a critically important aspect keeping in view the latest incidents of data breaches in India. We work to ensure that your data is safe while you take care of your business & live a worry-free digital life. 8000+ Global Partner Network, 5 Millon +  Downloads per year, State-of-the-Art Technology Labs are the testimonies to our success.

How much is the government aware of data security and privacy? What measures should a company take to secure its financial and other crucial data?

Importance of Data security and privacy has increased globally. Since for any country and for any government, the threat of data breach is live and present and this can lead to very adverse impact

on both corporates and overall economy at large. Recognizing this threat, governments across the globe have been taking adequate safeguards for data protection and security.

After the USA, a year ago, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went live in Europe. The EU made GDPR to secure advanced characters of its residents by making organizations obligated for information being utilized without clients’ assent.  In India, the draft Personal Data Protection Bill has been presented before the Indian parliament in 2018 by Justice Srikrishna committee. This bill is likely to come up for discussion in the ongoing winter session of parliament. Meanwhile, the historic movement was when the Court ruled in favour of the right to privacy being deemed “a fundamental right”. We believe the focus on data protection to enhance citizen safety and security will surely increase in the coming years.

While IoT utilization has been becoming exponentially enhanced, especially in the most recent couple of years, the size of IoT selection and the gadget has certainly increased. The most advised tip to consider to safeguard organisation sensitive data is to build a Robust ‘Data Security Plan’ which means Data available in the organization needs to be secured by following encryption protocols and password protection right from the hardware level to Operating System and Application level.

At the time of disposition of used, legacy IT assets, the organizations must secure their financial and crucial, confidential data by using the certified data erasure software like BitRaser prior to that asset leaving their premises.

In the event of a data breach, it is essential to reach out to a certified, secure data care experts who can help in getting the sensitive data back and also maintain the data privacy. In addition, to ‘Develop Secure Backup’ means the data needs to be backed-up at regular intervals; in multiple storage systems across multiple locations. This is a critically important safeguard in the event of a data breach.