Biggest Risks to Corporate Data Part 1: The 5 Main Causes of Data Loss and How You Can Avoid Them

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Data loss should not be considered as an avoidable accident, as it is almost inevitable that any modern business will encounter some issue with lost data at some point.

Instead, it’s important to have an action plan in place that considers all different scenarios and ensures that any lost data can be restored quickly in the event of a data loss disaster.

Over 60% of businesses report suffering data loss or downtime at some point during the last year and 33% said that this led to a loss of revenue.

With so many ways in which data can be lost, it’s easy to see why this could be such a problem for any business:

1. Accidental File Deletion

Human error is the number one cause of data loss and is incredibly common. Deleting and editing files is a task that is carried out multiple times every day so it only takes a momentary lapse of concentration to delete a key file or overwrite an important document.

Most modern computer systems have steps in place to prevent against accidental deletion such as the virtual trash bin and warning messages (are you sure you want to delete this file?) but these can usually be overridden or ignored so they do not provide complete protection.

Neglecting to save a file when working in traditional word-processing software is also a big problem. While Word and other software do offer document recovery systems for this occurrence, they don’t have a 100% success rate. Working in the cloud in a tool like Google Docs can prevent against this problem as documents are saved in real time and deleted files stay in a trash bin for up to 30 days until Google removes it permanently.

2. Hardware Failure

Data storage technology is improving but hard drive crashes due to mechanical failure or external damage is still a common occurrence.

Hardware may fail because of:

  • Age
  • The impact of being dropped or hit
  • Water damage
  • Exposure to magnetic field
  • Power surge

laptop-water-damage

Sometimes a hard drive failure can be anticipated by observing clicking or screeching noises, problems during bootup, slow performance, system freezes or an unusually high number of corrupted files. However sometimes there is no warning and the data will suddenly be inaccessible overnight.

Regular backups are the only way to prevent against hardware failure and working in the cloud ensures that your data is backed up automatically and you are not reliant on a single piece of hardware.

3. Viruses and Malware

Hackers and viruses cannot only gain access to sensitive company data but they can also cause a lot of damage by deleting and corrupting files so that they are unrecoverable.

Using robust anti-virus software and adopting a strict security policy for all employees can prevent against attacks, but it’s almost impossible to avoid them completely.

Ransomware is one of the newest forms of attack, in which data is encrypted by the hacker and is impossible to access unless the owner of the data pays a sum of money (a ransom) to the hacker for their data to be released.

Regular backups are the best prevention against data loss through any kind of virus or hacking attempt as they ensure that original data can be restored, once the machines are cleaned free of infected files and any access gained by hackers have been blocked.

4. File Corruption

Files and data can be corrupted due to hardware failures, unexpected shutdown (for example during a power cut), disconnecting a storage device before data transfer is completed, or software errors.

Sometimes corrupted files can be recovered but often at least partial data loss is inevitable as a result. In this case, the only option to restore your original files is to recover from a backup before the corruption occurred.

5. Natural Disaster

Natural disaster

Fires, floods, earthquakes and other natural disaster can all destroy your corporate data just as they can destroy the physical buildings where your business is located.

These disasters usually happen without warning and can cause catastrophic damage. The only protective step you can take is to ensure all data is backed up in a different location (on-site server rooms aren’t much use if your company burns to the ground).

The risk of physical damage like this is one of the main reasons why many companies have turned to the cloud for their data backup needs

Examples of Inadvertent Data Loss and Recovery Options

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Data loss in all of the above examples can be recovered if the data has been backed up recently. However it can take a lot of time and be a huge hassle to restore backups from physical media.

Working in the cloud is a great alternative to traditional backups as data is saved automatically and frequently and can easily be ‘synced’ or restored to your local machine with the click of a button.

However many businesses and individuals do not realize that using the cloud is not sufficient backup in itself. It is also necessary to use a third-party backup system to ensure your data is secure and easily accessible in the event of loss.

Consider the following common cases of data loss in the cloud and how a backup solution such as Spinbackup can help to prevent disaster:

Case #1

You have a lot of shared items on your Google Drive account and you go on vacation and don’t check in online for a week or two. After you return to work, you find that many of your files have been edited, moved or deleted by other people and you can’t find important files and spreadsheets.

Solution

Use Spinbackup version backup to restore the exact version of your Google Drive file from before you went on vacation.

Case #2

Two weeks ago, you accidentally deleted a key email instead of a spam newsletter.

Solution

To avoid any critical situation or email resend request, open your backed up files, search for the missing email and restore it in one click.

Case #3

Your account was hacked by Ransomware or a criminal and you’ve lost all your vital business data.

Solution

Use Spinbackup version backup to restore all lost information in one click and keep your account safe with a more secure password and 2-step authentication system.

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