The loss of data can lead to thousands or even millions of dollars in operational losses for your business. But what is the most common cause of data loss, and how do business owners prevent data loss in their IT strategy? Read more about data loss prevention below.
What Is Data Loss?
Data loss is the permanent deletion or corruption of essential data, including files, media, and software. This data can include essential files from current projects that represent hundreds of hours of work, boot files that make your office computers run, and server data of customer and employee profiles.
What Are the Main Causes of Data Loss in Business?
There are many common causes of data loss in business computers, including damage to hardware, hacking, power outages, and human error. Of these, hardware and system problems account for between 40% and 56% of all data loss incidents according to multiple studies.
Hard Drive and Hardware Failures
Hard drives store data on individual devices. The moving parts of the spinning disc and the disc reader can fail over time through either regular or improper use. Some causes of hard drive failure include:
- Impact damage
- Power surges burning out hard drive parts
- Nearby magnetic devices wiping data from the drive and damaging components
- Damage from liquids, fire, smoke, or other environmental conditions
- Overheating due to a fan failure, dust buildup, or improper configuration
Human Error (Accidental Overwrites and Deletions)
Employees may accidentally delete a file, overwrite a file by saving over it, or move a file from a shared drive to an individual machine without realizing their mistake. Additionally, some employees may accidentally delete system files that are essential for the computer to function.
Viruses and Malware
Virus and malware downloads on a single machine can infect your entire network and delete, steal, and hold for ransom important data on your systems. Knowing which type of data loss prevention system can be configured to block malicious code can help you prevent loss of data to hackers and malware.
Many crimes are crimes of opportunity. Thieves target items in easy reach, and that includes a work laptop that you left unattended at a coffee shop while you used the bathroom, or in plain sight in your car while inside a store or office. Work laptops contain data, login information, and important documents that you may not have backed up on another computer.
Many of us need that caffeine boost with a visit to Starbucks or a local coffee shop before we arrive at work in the morning, and some can’t function without an afternoon Red Bull. However, liquids and electronics don’t mix, and a spill could damage important components that can cause data loss.
Hackers and Insiders
People inside and outside your organization pose a threat to your data. Hackers may attempt to steal data and hold it for ransom. Additionally, an authorized user may access sensitive information to use for their own personal gain.
Effects of Data Loss on Businesses
Data loss can affect your operations, ability to produce deliverables on time, and network security. Additionally, the loss can negatively impact customer perception of your brand if the loss affects customer data. You may also lose face with vendors you’ve worked with for years if the data loss affects invoicing, payments, or workflow.
How to Prevent Data Loss
You can install data loss prevention software and set up an archive and backup schedule to the cloud and external servers to protect your data. Other solutions include finding a professional IT service company that will inspect your systems for weaknesses and manage your network security and backups.
Contact Emerald City Solutions Today!
At Emerald City Solutions, we strive to take care of our clients and take care of our community following our 4 Way Moral Code. Call us today at 206-745-4833 or contact us online to learn more about our prevention methods against loss of data for businesses near Seattle, WA.