5 Common Causes And Precautions Of Computer Data Loss
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While data loss may seem unavoidable, with the proper precautions and safeguards in place, you can prevent data loss. The first step is to understand the primary causes and warning signs for potential data loss. Knowledge is power. Once you have this insight, the next step is learning the top tips for how to prevent data loss. With this knowledge, you should be able to take the necessary steps to prevent data loss from happening in the first place.
While being connected to the internet has its benefits, it also comes at a cost. The most common means of entry into your computer is through email-based attacks (21%), the second is through phishing (17%). Computer viruses are a very real threat. They have the ability to destroy, steal or encrypt your data, and in some cases completely corrupt the hardware of your computer or infiltrate your entire network.
Power outages and power surges are bad for your computer and your data. While you may think that the unexpected loss of power to your computer might pose a relatively low risk, in reality that may not be the case. When there is a power outage or power surge that results in an unexpected shutdown of your computer, it takes its toll on the components of your computer. Operating systems are complex and must follow proper shut-down procedures to make sure all processes run properly. A sudden loss of power can interrupt these delicate procedures rendering your computer inoperable.
When power outages, surges and hard-reboots happen on a frequent basis, it can reduce the hard dives lifespan. Every time a computer restarts after a sudden loss in power, the read and write head, is quickly reset to its original position causing small imperfections on the disk. These imperfections accumulate over time and increase the likelihood of a head crash, which effectively destroys the hard drive. Again not good.
Data loss prevention starts with taking the steps necessary to protect your data. Should you experience data loss, having a solid backup of your data can help you get your lost data back. If you are not backing up your computer, you need to start now. With data loss prevention software, also known as backup software like NovaBACKUP, you can create a file back, an image backup or even just a copy of your files to a secondary device in an automated fashion so you are prepared for any of these data loss scenarios. NovaBACKUP is a HIPAA compliant backup solution. With so many data loss prevention tools and options for backing up your computer, there is really no reason to leave your data unprotected and vulnerable to data loss.
Data loss results in some or all of the data elements becoming unusable by the owner or its corresponding software application. Data can become lost either in storage, transmission, processing, or within a network. The theft or loss of a device containing data is considered part of data loss.
Human error is the root cause of most data loss in business as humans are, by nature, not perfect. The day-to-day running of a business involves a lot of data manipulation through typing, editing, updating, and deletions, processes that are prone to error by users. The frequent and heavy usage of data results in the following human errors:
Losing data through theft usually happens when a data storage device such as a laptop is stolen. Laptops are stolen at an alarming rate, meaning data loss through theft can be quite high. Laptops are mobile and are usually taken out of secure company premises, increasing vulnerability to theft.
Software malfunction or crash is another major cause of data loss. Any application used for requesting data can crash, resulting in data loss or corruption. Software failure can also occur in file editing software when updating multiple files where some files fail to save or update and are subsequently deleted. Data can also become lost in the same way during backup.
Common errors in backup include failure of the system to create file copies and inability to stop automatic deletion of files. Antivirus software can also delete data if it inaccurately reads it as malware. Errors can also occur during the conversion of file formats leading to data corruption and loss.
Computer viruses typically include malware, such as ransomware. Ransomware threatens to block access to the data or publicly expose it if a ransom is not paid. Email attacks through phishing can steal and damage data leading to data loss and functionality. A capable antivirus software that is up to date is a quick solution to computer viruses.
Hardware containing or maintaining data can easily malfunction, leading to irretrievable data loss. The reasons for hardware impairment can be internal or external. Data storage devices such as hard drives are prone to destruction through physical or mechanical faults. The faults can be a result of misuse or mishandling of the devices.
Natural disasters assume a lower prevalence rate as a cause of data loss because of their rare occurrence. Natural disasters that can lead to data loss include floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, cyclones, natural fires, and lightning.
An interruption in the power supply or an electrical outage while a user is preparing a document could result in a loss of data if it were not systematically saved. Auto recovery operations can successfully retrieve the saved part of the data only.
Sudden power failures can also damage the hardware and operating system resulting in data loss. Computers can develop rebooting problems, resulting in the inability to access data. Sudden voltage changes (normally increased voltage) can damage computer hardware and lead to data loss.
It can be expensive to prevent data loss in terms of resources, training, and investigating. The cost is worth it, as the implications of experiencing a data loss event can be catastrophic. Below are some of the costs and consequences of data loss to organizations:
Data is the backbone of the business, making day-to-day operations seamless. Data loss can affect the functionality of an entity or certain parts of it due to bottlenecks and resource allocation. Time and resources will have to be diverted to address the data loss incident in terms of recovery leading to serious operational challenges.
The reputation of a business may suffer due to data loss. It is essential to communicate a data loss incident to customers, but it can inadvertently result in a lack of trust and discontentment. It can subsequently lead to other customers taking their business elsewhere.
Discontent from customers is magnified if the lost data includes customer data. Business reputation is compromised due to customer perception of unreliability and negligence on the part of the company. The mass exodus of clients is a potential risk that can shut the business down. Rebuilding scarred relationships with clients will require significant time and resources as the data loss can haunt the business for years to come.
Data supports the operations of the business, and if lost, it means the company loses not only its ability to make money but also the means to operate. Since financial resources are also channeled towards data recovery, business finances can be stretched to the point of eating into unbudgeted funds and drawing down reserves. Data loss comes with the potential to bankrupt a business.
The productivity of employees is severely affected as data used in day-to-day work is lost. Also, data is needed to make decisions, and the decision-making function is also curtailed due to data loss.
Data loss exposes a business to various legal actions and lawsuits. The loss of customer data carries potential fines from the regulator for not adhering to data protection laws and regulations. Customers can also file lawsuits against a business in the event of loss of customer data. All these legal actions can affect the overall recovery of a business from a data loss event.
There are various ways to prevent data loss, including several common strategies for individuals and corporates. A Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategy can also be put in place as a plan to manage data loss events. Below are several strategies that can be implemented.
Installation of a firewall and antivirus software is essential to protect and prevent malicious threats from accessing sensitive data. The two measures act as defenders from malicious software such as malware and other computer viruses that can breach company data. However, firewalls and antivirus should be tailored to the organizational level of threat and its security requirements. Also, the two should be constantly updated.
Installing an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) can prevent data loss in the event of power surges and power outages. It allows proper saving of documents and closing of the application system without the risk of data loss.
Data Loss Prevention (DLP) are tools and processes used to prevent data loss, misuse, or unauthorized access. DLP software defines the data priority categories from critical and sensitive to general low-risk data. It also spells out the data policy and violations and is guided by data security regulations and guidelines.
Organizations can also set up a Disaster Recovery Plan (DRP) if a data loss event occurs. A DRP sets out the procedures to be undertaken in the event of an occurrence, which can minimize the damage and increase recovery prospects of lost data.
The most efficient solution to data loss is a good data backup system, as it increases the chances of data recovery. Data recovery is mostly performed by specialized companies who examine hardware storage for recovery of deleted data and also attempt to restore corrupted data through specialized processes. They manage data labs to conduct such specialized work. Recovery is dependent on the type of storage medium, security, and an effective backup system.
Data loss is a major inconvenience that disrupts the day-to-day function of any information-based business. When important files and documents are lost, your business must spend time and resources recreating or recovering these files to fill the gaps left by loss. While you may be able to locate hard copies of information, these may not be as up-to-date as the digital copies that were lost. Data loss caused by corruption or viruses poses particular problems as the extent of data loss caused can sometimes be difficult to determine. It can be costly for your business to weed out and repair damaged files. 781b155fdc