Common causes of data loss and its impact on businesses

No matter what size your business is, data loss can be equally daunting for all the ventures. No one takes losing files or data for granted. At a time when data loss costs businesses as much as a thousand million dollars a year, it has never been more critical to secure your data. The consequences of data loss are not just an annoyance anymore. The effects of data loss can be daunting and can jeopardize the reputation of your brand. Data loss knows no boundaries; it can happen to the best of us. And the most we could do is take the hard drive to the professionals for data recovery. But before plunging into the idea of getting the data recovered, you ought to have a thorough understanding of the threats responsible for data loss. We are here to uncover the top dangers that are responsible for threatening your data and your entire business. Without further ado, let’s delve into the finer details.

Common causes of data loss

There are a plethora of factors responsible for the data loss, and the most startling fact is that each one of them poses a unique problem for data recovery. Data loss can be caused due to hard drive crashes as well, but human errors and issues with software are also one of the most significant causes of data loss. Statistics have to say a few things that go as follows.

  • 10 percent of data loss is caused by software failure.

  • 14 percent of data loss is a result of human error.

  • 67 percent of data loss is a result of system failure or hard drive crashes.

Here are a plethora of causes of data loss that can be a significant cost to your business. Check them out.

  • Human Error

Oops! Sarah from the marketing department accidentally just deleted that important spreadsheet again.

John from accounting accidentally dragged a folder into the trash.

Sally from HR suddenly has no emails in her inbox- and she has no idea why.

You get the gist.

“To err is human,” they say, and they cannot utter anything more accurate than this. We all make mistakes. And even though sometimes those mistakes can be detrimental for your business, they can still be rectified in most of the cases. When it comes to accidentally deleting the files or crucial sections of text, human errors can jeopardize the reputation of the brand. There are also many instances where employees, without realizing, overwrite important files or delete information that is crucial for your business. Not only this, but humans can also be responsible for other causes of data loss. For instance, liquid spills, hard drive damage, software corruption, and hard drive formatting are some of the errors caused by humans.

When it comes to your employees, the best way to prevent human error is by giving them proper training. If your employees are freshers, they are bound to make mistakes. But, if you give them adequate training and ensure that they understand how data processing works within your company, there is nothing that can stop them from working efficiently. This tends to reduce the risks of accidental deletion of data. And if you teach them how your backup systems function, they would be able to know if the documents they are working on will be backed up automatically or if they ought to manually save the files.

If you ask any IT person what the most common cause of data loss is, they’ll hands-down tell you the same thing: human error. When it comes to larger organizations, data is accidentally deleted on a nearly daily basis. There are chances that the employees either don’t realize their mistakes until days or weeks later, or they are immediately aware of their mistakes. No matter what the case is, the data is often gone forever unless you have a dependable backup system in place.

Data loss can also occur due to misconfigured servers and other infrastructure mismanagement. So, you don’t just have to worry about the non-IT workers. IT workers can also be responsible for data loss.

  • Natural disasters

After human errors, natural disasters are the most common causes of data loss. They have been a risk for businesses for a very long time now. As rapidly as the climate is changing with each passing day, things are about to get a lot worse in the years ahead. Here are a few instances to consider.

  1. As the global temperature is rising, there are chances of not only more intense heat waves but also more extreme snowstorms. These extreme weather conditions can be responsible for severe data loss situations.

2. Extreme wildfires and extreme hurricanes can be a couple of the most significant causes of data loss.

3. Tornadoes make for the most common causes of data loss in small and large businesses.

Even if we take the climatic change out of the picture, natural disasters are considered to be one of the leading causes of data loss for businesses. Natural disasters tend to pose a significant risk to IT infrastructure. For instance, if your server room is flooded or destroyed by fire, there are chances of your critical data being erased. And the worst scenario is when you have no other backups available. There are chances of your business being dead.

  • Viruses and Malware

Viruses and Malware are one of the most significant causes of data loss. When it comes to businesses, viruses are responsible for stealing and deleting swaths of data. They can also bring business operations to a crawl, leading to the destroyed company functionality. There are chances of your device getting a virus from an email-based attack. It is even possible that the virus or the malware attacks your computer through phishing. This can tempt an employee to click on a corrupted link. This link further allows the virus or malware to enter the computer system to damage or steal files.

Malware is one of the most frustrating causes of data loss, as it is a constantly-evolving threat. It is almost every day that your anti-malware systems are blocking malicious viruses, bad websites, hijackers, suspicious attachments, lousy IP addresses, adware, worms, and much more. But there is not much to be delighted about. Those threats are bound to come back. There would even be new strains of malware that your anti-virus systems won’t be knowing about.

Let us skip talking about ransomware altogether. Because once we plunge into it, it would be hard to come out. It has rapidly become one of the most significant data killers in today’s world.

  • Power outages

Power outages tend to interrupt business operations substantially. This can lead to abrupt system shutdowns without any warning. Not only this is the cause for loss of unsaved data, but it can also cause the corruption of the existing files. Entire programs can be rendered non-functional due to the improper shutdown procedures. A poorly timed power outage can be the most significant cause of data loss. While the computer is driving to the hard drive system, and it shuts down, it may never start again.

Even if no data is lost during a power outage, the improper shutdown tends to have lasting effects on the computer’s hard drives. And if these power surges keep on happening frequently, this would adversely affect the lifespan of a hard drive. Making regular automatic system backups is the best way to protect your hard disk from failing.

Now that you are well-acquainted with the major causes of data loss in the business, you must understand the impact of data loss on businesses.

Impact of data loss on business

Being the primary reason for the disruption of the day-to-day operations in any business, data loss can have a jeopardizing effect on the reputation. Data loss can happen to all types of companies and can strike at any time. This often results in a domino effect of disastrous consequences. Let us see how data loss can make an everlasting impact on your business.

  • Reputation damage

With the advancement in technology, the Digital Age is evolving at a commendable pace. If your company, or the brand you are working with, ends up in the headlines as the result of a data loss incident, the negative publicity can jeopardize your business reputation permanently.

  • Disruption in productivity

When your organization loses its data, productivity is undoubtedly the first thing to suffer. No matter if the cause of data loss is network outage, malicious cyberattack, or hardware or software failure, lost files may take hours or even days to recover. This often leads to staff downtime and lost sales.

  • Exposure of confidential information

In case of data loss due to negligence or theft, the chance of exposure of confidential data is maximum. The compromised customer data or employee records can cost your company devastating losses. There are chances that the financial consequences are compounded if affected individuals decide to take legal actions against your brand or company.

All these consequences of data loss are considered to be too daunting to be taken for granted. You ought to prevent such scenarios by being very cautious. And if even after taking all the precautions, data loss occurs, there are always professional data recovery services to rely upon.