USB pen drives are NOT suitable for long term storage or as a backup medium because:
- Physically they are fragile.
- Their size means they are easily lost
- Most pen drives are NOT encrypted which means the data can be read by anybody who finds it.
- The data is stored electronically in the NAND flash memory unlike a hard drive where the data is 'written' to the data storage platter.
- Because of the way that data is stored on a USB drive, its is very susceptible to interference and therefore corruption by another electronic source ie a mobile phone or a microwave.
However, it is sometimes possible to recover data from a pen drive that has suffered a physical mishap.
The first step is to strip out the actual NAND flash RAM chip and solder the necessary connections onto a known good USB donor port.
Once the computer can 'see' the storage, the delicate work of data recovery can begin.
Data recovery is a long process and there is no guarantee that the data can be recovered or if any data is recovered that would be usable so prevention is always better than cure.
Using a 3 generation (minimum) including off-site backup is essential if you want to protect your data both business or personal.