How to prevent your data loss and get recovered if it happens?
Data loss is a serious issue for businesses of all sizes, with the potential to result in profit losses and reputational harm. Viruses, physical damage, user error, natural disasters, and other types of errors can all render data unreadable by humans and software. Losing files and documents can have long-term consequences for your company’s financial health. Some lost data can be recovered, but this requires the assistance of IT professionals and consumes time and resources that your company could be using elsewhere. In some cases, lost files and information cannot be recovered, making data loss prevention even more important.
Data Loss and SMBs by the Numbers
Statistically, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are more likely to experience data loss due to a lack of an in-house IT unit or a comprehensive backup and data recovery strategy. Just look at these numbers:
- 43% of SMBs don’t have a cybersecurity plan
- 60% of SMBs believe it will never happen to them.
- 63% of all SMBs experienced a data breach in 2020
- The average downtime of a breach for SMBs is anywhere between four and 48 hours
- 74% of all breaches involve external malicious activity
- 93% of companies without a data recovery plan will be out of business in a year if they suffer a major data disaster
- One-quarter of all SMBs moved to remote work without a data loss prevention strategy.
The most common causes of data loss.
Let’s look at the six most common causes of data loss, the risks they pose, and the ways of mitigating them.
1. Human Errors
Human errors account for most of all data losses, whether they are unintentional or malicious. Proper training is the most effective way to prevent human error in data handling. Make sure your employees understand how your company’s data processing works and how your backup systems function.
Human error can also be reduced using a variety of software tools. Automation reduces the amount of human interaction with data, lowering the risk of data deletion or overwriting. Backup systems should be used to keep previous data states safe.
It is sometimes as simple as searching through the computer’s Recycle Bin to recover accidentally deleted or overwritten data. You may also be able to access previously saved versions of a document at times. When recovering lost data is difficult, file recovery software can be a valuable tool.
2. Viruses and Malware
When asked what causes data loss, most people think of viruses. Viruses can steal and delete large amounts of data or slow down business operations, destroying company functionality. Use anti-virus software to protect yourself from malware. Keep your anti-virus software up to date and run scans on a regular basis to catch viruses before they cause serious damage. Make regular system backups just in case a malicious program destroys your data. Backup data is often the only way to recover lost data from malware or viruses.
3. Power Outages
Power outages can significantly disrupt business operations, shutting down software systems without warning. This can result in the loss of unsaved data as well as the corruption of existing files due to improper shutdown. Even if no data is lost during a power outage, improper shutdowns can have long-term effects on computer hard drives.
Making regular, automatic system backups is the best way to protect against these issues. Backups are often the only way to recover data lost due to a power outage. Surge protectors should also be used in your business to help prevent damage from power surges. A generator or backup battery system can also help you save or backup business data during a power outage.
4. Device theft or loss
Remote work is our new reality, and it frequently entails using employees’ personal mobile devices for work purposes. As a result, the likelihood of devices being lost or stolen increases.
- 25 percent of IT theft occurs in cars or other transportation vehicles
- 15 percent happens in airports or hotels
- 12 percent occurs in restaurants
In addition to data loss, mobile device theft poses the risk of a data breach. If your company’s employees store or access sensitive information on portable devices, you should be able to remotely wipe data from those laptops or tablets. You should also make certain that important data stored on laptops is backed up to a secure location.
If your company uses laptop computers that contain sensitive information, you should consider installing anti-theft software on these machines. This software enables you to track a stolen laptop so that law enforcement can recover the stolen device. If there is valuable data on the laptop, anti-theft software frequently includes the option of a remote wipe.
5. Natural disasters
Disasters, from tornadoes to fires, can have devastating impacts on your business. Back up your data on a regular basis and store copies in a secure offsite location to mitigate the consequences of a disaster and ensure business continuity.
If data is not backed up, natural disasters can cause irreparable damage to a business:
– 93 percent of companies that lost their data centre for 10 days or more due to a disaster declared bankruptcy within a year
– 50 percent of companies that lost data management due to a disaster declared bankruptcy immediately
Because natural disasters can destroy a company’s technology, it is often impossible to recover data fully. Therefore, it is critical to back up data in a secure location that will not be impacted by local natural disaster.
6. Software Corruption
Corrupted software may not be able to run again, which means you will be unable to access data stored in that software. While software corruption can occasionally be caused by power outages or other uncontrollable factors, it is critical to implement procedures for properly shutting down software after each use. When shutting down your computer, be careful and shut all programs first. Use diagnostic programs with caution to avoid interfering with software processes. Your employees reduce the risk of business data loss by following safe shutdown procedures.
Prevention is Important
Creating a contingency plan to protect your data is always vital. Data is vulnerable to threats, so it’s critical to have a backup plan in place in case sensitive data is accidentally deleted or important data is compromised. Here are three of the best practices you can implement to keep your data safe.
- Elaborate a strong data recovery plan
A proper disaster recovery plan includes detailed instructions on how to respond to unforeseen incidents such as natural disasters, power outages, cyber-attacks, critical errors made by employees, and other disruptive factors. Assigns roles and responsibilities to all team members and outlines the consequences of actions taken following a disaster.
- Regularly Backup Data
The world of data is constantly evolving and creating a backup once a month will never be enough. This is even more important for businesses where data is constantly being altered. Automate your backup processes so that they run as frequently as your business requires.
- Remember and follow the 3-2-1 rule
The „3-2-1” rule states that you should have 3 copies of your data (your production data and 2 backup copies) on two different media with one copy off-site for disaster recovery. You can create your backup copy using cloud services, such as OneDrive for Business by Microsoft, Google Drive Enterprise, Dropbox Business etc. Ideally, the chosen solution should encrypt data during transmission and storage and support multi-factor user identification.
Your data is the most valuable asset your company possesses. As a result, safeguarding this data against malicious activities is critical. The best way to ensure your data safety is to work with an experienced IT partner to choose the best backup and create disaster recovery plan for your specific business needs and requirements. Contact us for a professional consultation!