At Discovernet, we’ve long been proponents of not putting all your eggs in one basket. Or in this case, all your bytes in one location. While we’ve previously stressed the need to back up your data, today we’re going to explore some of the common ways organizations can lose their data, and share how organizations who do experience a data loss can recover and resume operations.
Four Common Causes of Data Loss
While hackers and security breaches often come to mind when it comes to losing data, it’s important to remember that there are also potentially more mundane (and low tech) ways that your files can go missing. Here’s a quick rundown on some of the common ones:
Data Loss Due to A Cyberattack
This covers both active, targeted hacking and “passive” automated malware activities. According to Accenture information loss accounts for 43% of the expenses associated with an cyberattack, making it the single most expensive cost associated with the event. Whether the data is stolen, deleted, or encrypted and held ransom, organizations are paying the price.
Related Blog: How to Prepare for a Cyberattack with Disaster Recovery
Accidental Loss by Human Error or Physical Damage
Sometimes, “stuff happens”. Someone could spill coffee on their laptop, accidentally delete or overwrite a critical file, wipe their hard drive with a fresh operating system install, or lose entire folders when moving them from one drive to another. A lot of these may seem easy to avoid, but sometimes when distracted or working fast, assumptions are made, and the consequences aren’t realized until it’s too late.
Hard Drive Error
Hard Drive Disks are complicated physical components, which means they can (and will eventually) wear out, break or otherwise become unusable. Traditional HDDs, are full of moving parts, and SSDs, while simpler, do have a limit on how many times data can be written to them, so while both have their strengths (capacity, speed, etc.), neither is infallible.
This one is simple and low-tech, and for that reason it might be overlooked. Whether it’s a laptop stolen from a coffee shop and wiped before being resold for a quick buck, or a phone that can be taken to gain access to accounts and documents through the cloud. Whether targeted or opportunistic, hardware theft often means writing off the device and changing all your passwords.
How to Recover from a Data Loss Event
The reality is, no matter how many precautions your organization takes, once the data is gone, it’s usually gone for good.
The only way you’re going to get your data back is if you’ve made a copy somewhere. Yes, this means having a Backup and Disaster Recovery Plan. There are different levels of planning available, from basic file retrieval all the way up to restoring an entire operating environment, but no matter the plan, you need to have the data.
Recovering from data loss generally comes down to one core thing: having the backup. There are different levels of sophistication available all the way up to completely restoring the old environment effortlessly in a new one, but to recover from a data loss, you need the data.
Determining How (And What) to Back Up
A well-structured disaster recovery plan will create possibilities for smoother data recovery solutions and resume your business operations to normality. Through proper planning and implementation, your disaster recovery plan will ensure lost data is retrieved and your business continues to function optimally.
For example, if you’re using cloud services, it’s important to find out if (and how) your provider can ensure seamless availability if they suffer an issue on their end. And with on-site storage, it’s important to determine what gets backed up, the frequency of the backups, and how the backup files are stored. For example, do you arrange physical backups for workstations, and rely on cloud backups for laptops and mobile devices? How are your network drives and servers protected?
Once Your Files Are Backed Up, You Need a Plan. We Can Help
It’s equally important to have a process in place that guides our staff on how to act in the event of a data loss or crisis – a Disaster Recovery Plan will enable your organization to effectively deal with the cause of the data loss, replace the missing files, and resume business operations as quickly as possible. Keep in mind that you will likely need different plans for different scenarios – recovering from hardware theft requires a different approach than dealing with ransomware.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning is just one of the many Managed IT Services we offer at Discovernet. Our experts can provide guidance through the disaster recovery process and will help your organization make accurate implementation decisions through our systems management solutions