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How Can Data Loss Occur? The Answers Might Surprise You

Data loss happens more often than you might think. Whether it occurs due to human error or software corruption, it is something that organizations both small and large should be careful navigating. Often, data loss can result in catastrophe, leaving companies and individuals completely vulnerable. So, what can you do to prevent data loss from happening to you? The first step is to better understand some of the different ways in which data loss occurs. You may be surprised by some of them.

SSD failure

You may have chosen to go with a solid-state drive to house the data backups for your company perhaps because of their durability, size, or minimal power consumption. Solid states are more durable because they have no moving components inside of them. This means that you can drop your computer and don’t have to worry about the read/write heads failing or the platters getting damaged. While all these things are true of SSDs, one thing to keep in mind is that they too will fail eventually. There is a common misconception that SSDs are less prone to failures, which unfortunately is not true. It is very common for SSDs to fail logically. They may have a firmware failure, a controller failure, or even fail if you accidentally spill your mug of coffee on the computer. Regardless of if your data backups are on a hard drive or a solid-state drive, you should always have a copy of that data for when the drive inevitably fails.

Factory Reset

What happens if you get locked out of your phone, leaving you with no other option than to perform a factory reset to get the phone functioning again? Maybe your laptop is not running at optimal speed and you must factory reset it so it properly functions again. Factory resetting your device completely erases all the data stored on it. This was an intentional design by manufacturers. It was developed so that you can resell your device and not have to worry about your data being accessible to a stranger. One thing most people do not know is that this data is unrecoverable. Therefore, it is extremely important to have all the important data stored on your devices backed up in a different location, like for example, in a cloud-based backup.

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Ransomware

Becoming increasingly more common in today’s digital world, ransomware occurs when hackers use malicious software to block you from accessing your data. Many times the hackers are living inside of your network for months, waiting for someone to jot down their password or other personal information and then all of sudden, they’re in and have access to all of your data. They will encrypt everything and demand that you pay them a ransom to recover your data. But here’s the kicker – sometimes they will take your money and run without making your data accessible again. This can be extremely problematic if no backup of the data exists. It can also be an issue if you have your backups on the same computer or network as the one that got hit with ransomware. In most ransomware cases, data recovery is extremely difficult. This is yet another reason having a backup of all your data in a secure location is so crucial.

Cloud-based backup failure

Not all cloud-based backups are created equal. Most people assume that the service they have will automatically back up their data to a different, secure location. This may not always be the case. Cloud-based servers can fall apart in many ways just as hardware and software can.  Making sure that your cloud-based backup has been audited is one precaution you can take to ensure your data is being backed up properly.

Departing employees

Employees come and go, something that is inevitable. Occasionally, departing employees will decide to sabotage the company’s data by deleting or stealing it upon termination, leaving the entire company without important data. With a proper backup in place, this can prove to be nothing but a minor bump in the road and your company can be back on track in no time.

Natural disaster

Data loss from natural disasters happens more often than you might think. Whether it be water damage from a flood, fire damage, or a power surge, these can all cause detrimental, sometimes even irreversible data loss. You never know when disaster may strike, so make sure that all your backups are up to date and reflect the most current version of the data stored on all your devices.

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These are just a few of the ways that data loss can occur. While data loss can be a very scary and daunting event, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. With proper backups in place, significant data loss can often be avoided altogether. In the event that you experience data loss, find a reputable data recovery lab to help you get it back.

 

Co-Founder & Chairman at Gillware

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