What Causes Business Data Loss?

Data loss causes huge setbacks for any business, no matter the size. At totality services we work primarily with London based businesses, but it doesn’t matter where you are in the world. If you lose the files that structure your business and its product, you’re going to spend a great deal of time and money.

Regardless of the types of data loss which can occur, the upshot is that those files are gone. As a result, your business operation will struggle without them.

Thankfully, some of your lost data is recoverable. Inevitably, you need an IT specialist for the task, which additionally feeds into your expenses, and again, impacts your company’s financial health.

Prevention is always better than a cure. Rather than repeatedly dealing with every mistake, mishap, hack, and crash, prevent it. It’s a clearer and superior solution to recovery in business.

You’ll find the golden phrase throughout this article is ‘back up’. Take our advice and backup locally and remotely, automatic and often to safeguard your data.

So, another key question is: how do you prevent data loss in cloud computing? There are all sorts of technical standards available in that area. Classifying data, avoiding misconfiguration, evading incorrect web-request routing, troubleshooting bugs, implementing granularity, and more. If you need specialist advice in this area, reach out to one of our team; we’d be more than happy to advise.

The common causes of data loss

Data loss because of hard drive damage

Masses of our data losses are due to hardware malfunctions – the biggest culprit being your hard drive. It is reported that 67% of data loss is caused by hard drive crashes or damage.

Mechanical issues are responsible for 60% of hard drive crashes, yet a whopping 40% is from human misuse. Just look at how something as simple as a little extra care could prevent almost half of your hard drive data loss.

So, apart from urging your staff not to drop their laptops, spill their coffee on them and keep them clean and dust-free, what else should you be doing?

Solid-state drives (SSDs) have no moving parts, shaping up to be simpler as there’s less to go wrong with them. Admittedly, they’re a little more expensive, but a lot more reliable. We’d suggest if you have the budget, the added cost is well worth the reward.

And finally, remember the golden rule – back up your data. This will ensure that even if your local drive fails you, your data and files will still be accessible.

Hackers and hacking

Ok, this is a big one as your cybersecurity is essential. Hacking is commonplace, so data protection is imperative in today’s business and regulations.

Hackers will find the flaws in your system to gain access, so fix them now. Follow these security procedures to protect your system from data loss:

  • Secure your servers
  • Put firewalls in place
  • Utilise complex passwords
  • Arrange for a professional system security assessment
  • Introduce file and server permissions for different levels of staff

Sadly, a lot of data breaches aren’t recoverable, and many happen within the business by employees and staff. Therefore, it is vital to put robust measures in place at every opportunity.

Data loss because of viruses and malware

Often, viruses and malware are the first things that jump to mind when data loss is mentioned.

They’re both common everyday nuisances that can remove, steal, or delete vast selections of your data in an instant. They land in your system through phishing, email attacks, or when clicking on any hack-based URL that is provided access to your system.

Every device in your workstations should be protected using malware and anti-virus software. There isn’t a single reason not to install it. Simple and affordable, it’s the first step to protecting your machines, mitigating breaches and preventing subsequent losses.

Computer, laptop, tablet, and mobile theft

We are a society that’s embracing working on the fly. Undeniably, wherever we go, our data must follow.

Working remotely from a laptop, or even on your mobile, puts your data at risk. Did you know that around a quarter of IT theft occurs in cars and transport vehicles? Another quarter takes place in the office itself, and the remainder in hotels, airports, and restaurants.

How do we prevent this? Take better care of your hardware. Treat them in the same way you’d treat your kids. Don’t let them out of your sight and hold their hand (figuratively, of course).

In the office use security cables and locks to secure your building and offices and alarm your building. Install anti-theft software on all your machines and a remote wipe for those holding the most valuable data.

Data loss because of human error

This is a big problem, and it’s a tough one to fix. Humans aren’t as simple to update as software or hardware after all.

Education and encouraging good workplace practice will go some distance to making your teams more efficient. But reducing potential chances of human error is up to you and them.

Fortunately, it’s typically a simpler case to manage those problems and recover your data. Use the IT tools and systems built for the job.

Of course, we recommend training in data management and handling. We also recommend utilising backup tools, both locally and in the cloud. Sometimes, recovering that batch of accidentally deleted files is as simple as digging back a few days through your device history.

File recovery and scanning software is a worthy consideration. They can often produce lost files and data that a human search can’t.

Power outages

A power outage doesn’t just interrupt your business operation as shutting down systems without warning can also result in a loss of data. They can easily corrupt files, and in some cases prevent hard drives from ever starting up again.

Power outages and surges can have a real impact on hardware, even if you don’t suffer any immediate or obvious data loss. Solutions? A backup generator is one common method, but that may not be practical or feasible for your business. So, ensure you have other forms of backup organised and, if in doubt, follow the 3-2-1 backup rule. This means you have three copies of your data, on at least two different types of media, and one stored off site.

Data loss because of natural and not so natural disasters

You may think natural disasters are very unlikely, so not a high entry in our top ten, but they do happen. And we’re not talking about a tornado or tsunami in the centre of London. However, fires and terrorist attacks are factors your business should unfortunately take into consideration, given our current climate.

So, in terms of backups, have copies of your data stored in the cloud or other remote locations, as well as your office.

Data loss because of liquid damage

It might not always be coffee, but spilling liquids on sensitive electronic equipment is never going to end well.

It’s unfair to prevent your staff from their basic rights of hydration while working, so what can you do? Have you thought of water-resistant laptop and keyboard cases? Spill-proof drinks containers?

When an accident does occur, minimise the damage by shutting down the machine as soon as possible. Your device needs time to dry out. Also, have an IT expert take it apart to inspect the internal damage or effects, if you can.

Major consequences of business data loss

Some of the most significant impacts on businesses due to the loss of data are:

  • Disruption of operations and reduced productivity
  • Damage to the business’ reputation
  • Unwanted exposure of confidential materials and business operations
  • Loss of consumer confidence, client/customer base and loyalty
  • Total shutdown and business failure

You can’t prevent all data losses from happening, but you can protect your business and give yourself the best chance of avoiding some nasty pitfalls.

Some of our suggestions are the simplest solutions every one of us should already be implementing. On the other hand, some of the other recommended action requires a little more specialist attention.

As the leading IT support provider in London, disaster recovery is one our specialties. So, if you’re concerned with data loss and you need a helping hand to keep your business safe—we’re happy to help. Simply contact us at totality services to chat to one of our friendly team today!