4 Preventable Risks to Your Data That Could Devastate Your Business

Imagine what would happen if all the data your business has amassed over the years – think accounting & financial information, customer data, inventory and shipping data, information related to your research and development and much more – would just snap out of the grid and disappear? What would happen if you had to lose data in a system crash or a server crash? What, if you ever thought about it, would be the extent of damage for your business?

Here’s some perspective: over 170 million records of U.S residents have been exposed due to various levels of security breaches even since January 2005, according to the Privacy Rights Clearing House [1]– a not-for-profit consumer information and advocacy organization. About 6% of all personal computers will suffer a data loss any given year which are almost 4.8 million data loss episodes costing businesses upwards of 18 billion in one year alone[2].  Why does Data Loss happen? Here are at least 4 reasons why apart from natural disasters and theft/sabotage/breach instances:

Hardware Failure: One of the most common forms of data loss occurs due to hardware malfunction leading to nothing short of a disaster for businesses. Hard disks store all the programs, information and data and hence are the focal vulnerable spot as far as hardware losses for computers are concerned. That explains the popularity of hard disk recovery programs and synchronized back-ups for computers. Other hardware problems involve memory errors, system timing problems, peripheral conflicts and unprotected power surges or power loss.

Software Failure: Have bugs, will demolish – that’s the war cry among the warring bugs present in some software you use for your business operations. Poor software design, presence of bugs in the software, virus attacks, malware and spyware, etc, can all be reasons why some systems crash due to software related issues.  Updating your software regularly is hence one of the easiest, systematic and dependable ways to protect your business from software related data loss or data breaches.

Corrupt file systems: Files stored on computers or servers have an architecture that they are all based on. File systems depend on a hierarchy. When these file structures which are used to contain programs, information and data are stored on the hard disk, they can be damaged due to hard disk failure. Some of the reasons could be sudden physical jolts to the hard disk, lack of proper maintenance, presence of too many files and not checking the file systems on a regular basis.

Accidental Deletion of Data: Mistakes inevitably happen and some of them could be expensive indeed. Accidentally deleting files from the system is one of the most common forms of data loss. Thankfully, there are plenty of mechanisms in place to “undelete” the accidentally deleted data. A combination of regular, systematic back-up along with use of great data recovery software should allow you to work through a “data loss episode free” business day – at least as long as deleting files accidentally is the cause for data loss.

Data loss can be devastating; not doing anything about until disaster strikes could be a really expensive gamble for your business. Here are some interesting statistics from Boston Computing[3] – it’s a quick read but it could give you goose bumps.

What is your disaster recovery Strategy? Do you have reliable vendors to dig you out of the catastrophic consequences of a data loss? Your thoughts?


[1] Privacy Rights Clearing House

[2] David Smith, “The Cost of Lost Data.” Storage Management Solutions No. 4 (1999): 60-2

[3] Data Loss Statistics, Boston Computing

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