causes of data loss

The top 5 leading causes of data loss

It’s easy to assume that data loss will never happen to your business.

You’re not on the Fortune 500, so who’d want your data? And you’re not in the path of major natural disasters, so what’s the big deal?

As far as you’re concerned, nothing is getting between you and your data — because why would it?

Unfortunately, though, hackers and Mother Nature aren’t the only threats to your data. In fact, those are — by far — the least of your worries, and here are just a few of the reasons why.

Hardware Malfunctions

A hard drive isn’t the most reliable thing on the hardware block. In fact, the littlest things can affect a hard drive’s ability to operate — a bump, drop, shake, or tiny vibration.

In other words, hard drives are sensitive — which ultimately means that your data is sensitive, too.

A failed, worn-out, overheated, misused, or overused hard drive can quickly result in heaps of lost data … lost data you may not be able to retrieve unless you have that data backed up and secured safely elsewhere.    

“50% of hard drives die within 5 years.” — Ease US

Employee Accidents

Even if you can manage to keep your hard drives in perfect working condition, there’s still one thing you need to account for.

Your employees.

Human error is something not to be taken lightly. Who do you think causes all those bumps, drops, shakes, and tiny vibrations mentioned earlier? That’s right … your employees.

But on top of that, you have to think about all those malicious downloads, wrong clicks, and accidental deletes your employees will bring down on your business. It won’t be pretty or fun, and in those situations, the only thing you can be certain of is downtime and data loss.

Roughly 70% of all data incidents are due to human error. — Uptime Institute

Hackers & Viruses

Every year, the number of attacks on small to medium-sized businesses grows. In 2015, 43% of all phishing attacks targeted SMBs — a percentage that grew nearly 30% in four years.

And these numbers can only mean one thing.

It doesn’t matter how large or small your company is … you will still remain a target of hackers, viruses, and other forms of malware. You can’t hide behind an industry, and it doesn’t matter how much money your company grosses in a year.

To a hacker or cyber threat, a target is a target is a target.

“In 2015, 43% of all phishing attacks targeted SMBs.” — Symantec

Lost or Damaged Hardware

A random — or not so random — failed hard drive isn’t the only type of hardware issue you should lose sleep over. As a matter of fact, that’s nothing compared to how easy it is to drop a laptop or lose a phone.

That’s where sleep should really be lost.

What would you do if that dropped laptop refused to turn back on and it just so happened to contain sensitive data contained nowhere else? And what would you do if you never found that lost phone again and it held hundreds of messages held nowhere else?

For a lack of better terms, you’d be up a creek without a paddle.

And the only way you’d get back any of that data is if you have it backed up somewhere safe.

“1/10 U.S. smartphone owners are victims of phone theft, and 68 percent of those victims are unable to ever recover their device after the theft occurred.” — IDG Research

Untrained Employees

Accidents are one thing; poorly trained employees are another thing entirely. If untrained employees lose data, that isn’t an accident — it’s the direct result of people simply not knowing right from wrong.

Just think about ransomware. This particular threat is kicking down doors and stealing data like it’s nothing. And all because of what? Because of employee clicked the wrong link, downloaded the wrong attachment, or responded to the wrong person.

If that employee had been trained on the ins and outs of ransomware, stolen data could have been avoided. In fact, most forms of social engineering can be avoided with a bit of training. A simple 30-minute meeting held once a month (or even once a quarter) can keep employees in the loop and up-to-date on prominent cyber threats.   

“A company is hit with ransomware every 40 seconds.” — Barkly

If you’d like to learn more about how to protect yourself against cyber threats like ransomware, then download our free report, Is your data protected from ransomware? And stay tuned for more technology tips, tricks, and best practices.