Five Ways Businesses Lose Data and How they Should Prepare | Windows Data Recovery Software & Services
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Five Ways Businesses Lose Data and How they Should Prepare

Upwards of 70% of businesses have experienced or will experience data loss. Whether the cause is human error, fire, device failure or thieving hackers, businesses continue to be crippled by the damage. So what are the ways businesses lose data?
Data loss comes with corresponding damages: time, money and potential branding problems. Despite the risks, many business leaders aren’t aware of the types of common losses, are technically unprepared and are unsure of the right remedies.
Here are five ways business lose data, along with proactive tips for prevention:

Human Error

Human error accounts for a substantial number of data breaches. People make mistakes, and there are many entry points for loss. An employee with access to sensitive data might use a weak password, or they might have a thumb drive containing patented trade secrets that they lose in an Uber.

Employees may leave a company and take confidential data with them. This could be a benign case where the employee wants to stay in touch with internal contacts or keep work samples. It could also be unknowingly obtaining trade secrets, partner information, sales figures or other data. Companies must prevent such instances through employee monitoring systems and segregation of sensitive data from most employees. They could lose critical data forever, or worse, place it in the wrong hands.


Data corruption is a lesser-known but devastating way to lose data. To prevent such occurrences, it’s recommended to replace in-house storage with newer servers and add multiple cloud-based backups. Cloud storage is inexpensive, and running multiple clouds with different providers practically eliminates many data loss risks.

On a smaller scale, companies might lose valuable image-based content due to corrupted SD cards. If an employee uses a high-end camera to document a tradeshow or a product, then the images are valuable data. Employees should keep SD cards clean and dry and quickly move photos off the card onto the cloud in order to prevent accidental loss.

Hardware Malfunction

Hardware failures are especially prevalent at smaller businesses that do not implement automated backups. Employees are more likely to utilize their own machines or external hard drives as storage containers, which exposes them to potential loss because of a lack of a streamlined and company-approved backup plan.

Portable flash drives are still used by remote workers, sales staff and others that are frequently on the road. They are convenient and fairly durable, but they’re easily lost. Cell phones are another vector for data loss, as employees use their phones to connect to company files, access proprietary systems and engage in other tasks that historically required a laptop or desktop computer. The prescription for preventing hardware issues is to purchase updated and sound equipment and to implement strict rules on moving data from the corporate servers to portable devices. Additionally, any data held on phones or personal computers should be auto synced to the cloud as often as possible

Unforeseen Events

Damage from natural disasters can not only destroy physical office equipment – it’s also damaging to on-site data. A flood will destroy laptops, SD cards and other devices along with on-premises servers holding valuable company data. Take steps to manage these risks by implementing offsite backups. Duplicating content to external hard drives is a way to back up data, but it still means all the data is locally held. Again, creating additional backups on the cloud is the best way to remove the risks from natural disasters.

Incorporate the risks of data loss into your disaster recovery plan. Look at the physical and virtual locations of your data and then review how susceptible they are to loss from fire, floods or other events. Do this proactively, instead of two days before a hurricane hits, otherwise there’s a risk in missing important data or taking shortcuts.

Ransomware and Theft

According to the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report (ACR), businesses fall for ransomware attacks every 14 seconds. That statistic points to more than just the frequency of attacks, but also their obvious effectiveness. Ransomware is especially damaging because the thieves will usually encrypt the data and hold the key as the actual ransom. And these criminals often leak data when ransoms aren’t paid, or they’ll find ways to leave it encrypted and essentially worthless. Firms should carefully review their intrusion detection systems (and increase their backup frequency) so they can thwart ransomware schemes.  

The many ways businesses lose data are not always preventable. You cannot control every employee’s actions. Fires and earthquakes are going to occur. What is preventable is the permanent loss of the actual data. Through proactive planning, companies can train employees on best practices, avoid hardware and software issues and implement cloud backups and on-premises storage strategies.

Conducting stress tests and “dry runs” are essential parts of data loss prevention. The dry run should cover the “what if” of data loss. What would your company do if a significant portion of data was lost? Run through this exercise to find gaps in your data storage processes. Consider all types of losses, whether it’s failure by a single cloud provider, a fire affecting your on-premises storage or theft of multiple company laptops. Going through this exercise is worth the company time because it’s preventative maintenance. You’re spotting and fixing problems with minimal effort and expense, which compares very well to the expensive risk of losing your business’ critical data.

If you want to know more about ways how businesses lose data, read our other articles here.

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