Around 70% of people have experienced data loss at some point in their lives, and around 30% of businesses will lose their data and not be able to restore it. What’s more important: 70% of small firms go out of business within a year after a data loss incident.
This happens not only due to the vanished information but also because each company has the duty to notify their clients regarding data loss — and this leads to lost trust from clients and a lengthy process of repairing or reproducing the lost information and regaining trust from partners.
What are the reasons for data loss?
Data loss might arise from different situations but the three most common causes are human error, software and hardware failure or cyberattack (viruses and malware).
We all make mistakes, and human errors are the most prevalent cause for lost data. They can range from complicated actions — a database is accidentally deleted when information is migrated from one place to another or small improvements render the whole system unstable — to tiny everyday mistakes, such as coffee spilt on a laptop or a lost hard drive.
The most important way to reduce the frequency of human error is ensuring adequate training to your employees and providing a well-built system with reduced access for each type of employee. Still, the only way to ensure absolute protection from human error would be hiring only robots (even then, some people say that a truly perfect example of artificial intelligence would be making human errors). While there are actual living, breathing people employed at your company, human errors will happen.
Software failure might be as unpredictable. Almost all computer users have experienced the soul-crushing moment when an unexpected error stops the computer from booting up or crashes it during an important moment. Another thing to watch out for is hardware failure, especially damaged hard drives: if your computer tends to produce loud clicking or grinding noses or is often hot to touch, might be that your hard drive is not in its best state.
Data might also be damaged because of sudden power outages or just a glitch in the system. This article was written on an older computer, so you are actually not reading the original version because the computer decided it couldn’t handle changing the language settings and froze during the second paragraph.
What can be done?
There are many solutions to reducing the possibility of data loss: training employees, developing better software and better guidelines for work with data, looking out for software and hardware damage. There are programs fighting against virus and malware attacks. When articles are written, they should be saved after each sentence, not somewhere in the middle of the page.
It all might not help. Sooner or later, your system will experience data loss due to any of the reasons mentioned or a combination of them.
Data can be restored, but it costs time and money. This process is also not failproof, and it is mostly not possible to restore all information. That’s why it is important to back up your data. There are many ways to do it, but it is important to remember that redundancy is key. You should save your data on at least three devices which are located in at least two physical spaces (so that physical interaction, such as natural disasters or fires, cannot damage the data).
Cloud storage is an easy, intuitive way to ensure redundancy. Regular backups to the cloud ensure that at least one of the copies of your data is safe and sound — protected from all the dangers that might lurk around in the form of co-workers, floods and damaged hard drives.
It’s not fun rewriting even a few sentences, and damage to companies due to data loss is measured in thousands and millions of euros, which often can — and do — lead to bankruptcy. Choose cloud storage and save your personal and business files from becoming a sad memory.
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