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Data Loss Disasters: Common Causes & Prevention

Imagine this: you have put 30+ hours into a work project. All that’s left is a final sweep for minor edits and peace of mind, but you want to leave that for tomorrow so you can look at all you’ve done with fresh eyes. Heading home, you feel relaxed because all your hard work pays off and you know your client will be happy with the finished product. However, when you come in the next morning, your project is nowhere to be found. Your hard drive malfunctioned and you are unable to get your work back because you don’t have a recovery plan for your data. Late project, furious client, and extra work, all because proper precautions weren’t taken. 

We have all experienced a data loss scare! Therefore, we at Nexix Inc felt that discussing backup and disaster recovery plans may save some individuals from future data mishaps.

Five Common Causes of Data Loss

According to the Hosting Tribunal, 40-60% of small businesses won’t reopen after data loss. There are multiple reasons that a company may lose data. The more potential data-loss causes that you know about, the easier preventing mistakes becomes .

Human Error

Netwrix Research says that human error is the number one reason for an organization’s data loss. Mistakes are inevitable. While sometimes the problems are easy to fix, there are occasions when important files are overwritten or deleted. In this case, there is file recovery software that you can use to restore and identify lost data. 

The best way to minimize mistakes is through proper training, automation to lessen an employee’s interaction with data, and (of course) good backup systems. 

Damaged Hard Drive

Roughly 40% of data loss comes from hardware failure, whether from mechanical issues or human misuse. If liquid spills onto a hard drive, if your software is aging or overheating, you may risk losing important data. There are a few common signs to tell if you need to update your hard drive.

  • Unusual noises
  • Corrupted files
  • Slow performance

Hence, handling your hard drives carefully can help, as well as making sure they are in an environment in which they are less likely to overheat. 

Security Issues

If you have a data breach, and a hacker has entered your network, they are able to crash your entire system. They may steal or delete your data, which is not only frustrating, but also takes a long time to recover from. 

Indeed, using strong passwords and having good firewalls can protect your company from big headaches and financial losses. 

Natural Disaster

After the Calgary flood in 2013, 7,000 businesses closed. Of course, there are a lot of factors that contribute to those closures, but imagine how much data was lost. Damage repairs are expensive, but how many companies had to start from scratch after the damage of their hard drives? If you have to pay to rebuild your office, can you afford to pay your employees to redo countless hours of work? For small businesses, probably not. 

Using a network attached storage (NAS) allows multiple devices to share storage over a network. Therefore, your data is easily shared among connected machines and can protect you from data loss. 

Power Outage

If your software is shut down without warning, there is a risk of losing unsaved data or corruption of existing files. To protect your work, having automatic system backups can help. Moreover, surge protectors or generators can possibly prevent some damage and make for easier backups. 

Possible Consequences of Data Loss

Finances

Say you lose the majority of your data. Now, you have to work hard to replace everything. You can’t take on new projects because you’re working on saving the old ones. You have to pay your employees to redo work, and depending on your situation, possibly buy new software. Recovery can take a lot of money without proper data backup. 

Angry Clients

If data is lost due to human error, customers may not be as forgiving. However, even if you lose data because of a natural disaster, they may wonder where your disaster and recovery plan was. Businesses work hard to build strong relationships with their customers. Trust is vital for the loyalty of your customers. Big mistakes can lead to bad reviews, which can lead to more financial suffering. 

Legal Repercussion

Data can be very sensitive. Your client counts on you to protect their information. Worst-case scenario, they sue, or you face fines for failing to adhere to data protection regulations and laws. 

Out of Business

Cyber Crime Magazine states that 60% of small companies close within 6 months of being hacked. UniTrends says that seven out of 10 small firms who experience data loss go out of business within a year. Shutting down is very likely if the data disaster is significant enough. 

Protecting Your Data

Certainly, nobody wants to lose their hard work. There are multiple ways to go about protecting yourself, your clients, your business, and your employees from data disasters. 

Cleaning your Computers

You want your computer and hard drive to be as dust-free as possible. The more dust, the more likely it is that your software will malfunction and overheat. 

Backup and Save

Save, save, save! Save the data on different flash drives or hard drives. You can never be too safe or cautious. Backup your files repeatedly. Even if all of your machines are functioning smoothly, you want to make sure that you don’t have to deal with any surprises. 

Firewalls and Anti-Virus Software

Having up-to-date software will make a big difference in protecting yourself from hackers and viruses. Statistics Canada says that Canadian police services reported nearly 33,000 cyber-related violations, which is a 12% increase from the previous year. Due to possible legal issues and financial repercussions, proper security measures are vital for businesses. 

Proper Training

Training your employees about your backup plans, taking the time to show them how to properly store their data, and encouraging them to ask questions can make a big difference in the protection of your company’s data.

Summary

A company can lose a lot without proper data storage: clients, employees, their business. Why risk the loss? Remember that the most common reasons for lost data is human error and malfunctioning software. When it comes to your business, there is no such thing as too cautious! Save all your information as much as possible, clean your computers, update your software, and relish in knowing that even if everything goes wrong, your business will be safe. 

Nexix Inc

Our company has over 60 years of combined experience. While our team has multiple talents, we specialize in IT support and software. Therefore, if you feel that you need assistance, contact us. We can help you update and automate your software to ensure maximum security for your business. We have a lot of knowledge, and are here to help!

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