How Much Data Loss Can Really Cost You?
By Dianne Mariz
We are now living in the digital world, data and data storage is now the necessities for the existence of every business. Thus, every businessman whether owning a small or a big company must be really aware of how important it is to make sure that every bit of their data is taken care of in the highest precautions possible. However, data breaches and data loss is something inevitable as every company does not depend anymore on bricks and mortar but only on every bits and byte, especially if their industry is information-based and a little data disruption will cause large negative consequences. This has been the main concern of every IT professionals up to now because data loss has a large impact not just on your money but it also greatly affects your time and many more.
Data values are increasing and data loss will cost you depending onyour company’s sector, your company’s size and the number of incidents the data loss happened. In terms of money, it has been estimated that a cost of an episode of a data loss is approximately $2450 and it may have a more negative impact on small businesses as you have to spend a great amount of time to recover or recreate these files to bring everything back to normal. You may be able to find its actual hard copy but they are mostly outdated. It is also the company’s responsibility to update the clients about the data breach especially when they are covered with security breaches. You may be able to return back to business after you recover from this issue but you already have lost your client’s trust and it is really not easy to get them back and rebuild a new relationship with them. If you really do not exert a great effort on protecting your data and recover it immediately after you have lost it, you may suffer from bigger complications. Unfortunately, according to a study, 94% of businesses that suffers from severe data loss most likely do not recover their data, more than half of the percentage of these companies end up shutting down after two years, and 43% of these companies do not even get the chance to reopen again, and almost 70% of small companies that suffered through data loss go out of business only after a year.It is a bold move and an expensive risk for anyone or any company owner to leave their data unprotected because surely, your money is not the only thing that it will cost you.
What Causes Data Loss?
Companies are really vulnerable nowadays as they wholly depend on data. As every bit of data raised their values, the amount of data loss is also heavily increasing. Based on the Ponemon Institute’s global study last 2013 where they focused on examining 277 cases of really large data loss incidents, they have concluded that the reasons behind of this episodes are the hardware failure, human error, software corruption, computer viruses, and natural disaster.
- System Failure/ Hardware Malfunction
Hardware system or malfunction is one of the most answered causes of data loss and 57% of data loss episodes are happening due to this. The harddrive is one of the most important and vulnerable parts of every computer, and every week there are approximately 140 thousand hard drives crashing every week. 60% of these incidents happen due to electrical, controller or controller failure or head crash and 40% left happens due to person’s mishandling which includes accidental falling or bumping of the laptop or the computer itself. At the same time, hard drives are also highly at risk when the computer suffers from overheating which are commonly happening because of piled-up dust in the computer or over usage.
Although, like any mechanical devices everyone should be aware that hard drives normally wear out over time and these are some head-ups for you to know if your hard drive might soon fail or malfunction.
-If you are frequently suffering from crashes or freezes
-Your computer tends to get too hot quickly and makes a lot of unusual noises and
– Your files are randomly getting corrupted.
No one wants to suffer from data loss and the least you can do prevent hard drive failure is to use your computer properly and avoid placing your computer on spaces with extreme dust.
- Human Error
We must accept that we are all just humans and there are circumstances that we really make mistakes. Typically, the two most common human errors that cause data loss are accidentally clicking the “Delete” or worse, the “Format” button and the other one is unintentionally dropping your computer that results to damage your hard drive. However, in the business world, these kinds of mistakes might really cause a little trouble. It is inevitable that employees sometimes accidentally overwrite the most important files or spill liquids or format the hard drives. Thus, the most essential way to prevent this from happening is to train your employees and make them understand that every bit of data is important to the company. Ensure that they know how you store backup files properly. At the same time, there are several software automation ways that decrease human interaction with the data, thus results to reduce the risk of formatting or deletion too. File recovery software now is also an amazing tool to restore deleted or formatted data. However, data are not always easily restored, you better be sure and use enterprise data storage.
- Software Corruption
We treat unexpected software shutdowns as a normal thing. However, little did we know these things can sometimes result in losing our valuable time as it can delete the progress of your work, or worse losing the whole document. Corrupted software sometimes do not run or work again, thus you would not be able to access all of your files stored in that software.
We cannot deny the fact that software corruption is both a cause of uncontrollable and controllable circumstances. As much as you can, in order to reduce the risk of this incident, make sure that you and your employees are following the appropriate steps on saving files and shutting a computer down. It is just really simple; remember that prevention is better than cure.
- Computer Malware and Viruses
We are all aware that malware and viruses do not just slow down our computers but they also steal important information and without as second spread like wildfire and affects almost all of your important data. For businesses, this malware is no joke, in an instant; they can destroy the functionality of the company and bring the business down. Most of the time, these viruses came from emails or corrupted links, and themost applicable step to take into action is to guard your computer with antivirus software. Make sure that it is always up to date, and you constantly scan your computer to catch it as fast as possible before it creates a big issue.
Some of the other causes of data breaches are power disruption, laptop or computer theft, liquid damage, disasters, and worst of all insiders and hackers. Having an insider or a hacker create data breach in your company is another big issue. It may be for personal benefit or a competitor move. Unauthorized visitors in your network are a big threat to your data privacy and you will never know what they are after. As they are able to access your information, assume that they also have the capacity to do a great harm to your business. Every businessman should be aware that they can minimize this kind of instances is through installing firewalls, avoid using low-quality security servers and setting up a password that is very easy to guess. However, the most unfortunate situation that could happen is when data are being stolen by own company employees. For security purposes, it is highly recommended to execute some rules and regulations for every employee before accessing a certain private data to prevent any kind of malicious activity. Most of the time when hackers get the opportunity to steal your information it would be nearly impossible to recover it, the most important thing you can do is to back up your data.
Businesses and Data Loss: How much it really Costs for Businesses?
As we are making the most out of our digital world, companies now prefer to store their data through bits and byte as it is really convenient and helpful in all ways. However, this also comes with a big risk in terms of data loss. Businesses, whether big or small should find a way to protect their data privacy as it will really cost you more than you think it would.
Based from the Security Week’s study, lost data from the last two years raised for about 400% and its main causes are the use of big data, mobile devices and cloud computing in the workplace. EMC Corporation even included in their study that the downtime total cost of data loss is over $1.7 trillion every year mainly because even IT professionals are not confidentenough in protecting and recovering data from this new digital environment.
IT Web, on the other hand, stated that by 2019, data loss and data breach will cost over $2.1 trillion becauseconsumers are multiplying and everything works in a more digitalized environment. Meanwhile, Juniper Research said that these data breaches will mainly come from the existing network communications and IT technology rather than the upcoming ones, while Verizon has come forth and reported that even little data loss which only disclose less than 100 records already have a standard cost of $18 thousand up to $35 thousand, worse, it can even reach up to almost $555 thousand, while large data loss of 100 million records and above might have a standard cost of $5 million to $15 million and worse it can come up to $200 million.
Experts do not seem to agree with the same number of digits and reasons for the cost of data breaches and data loss, but one thing‘s for sure, your company will need to pay a lot of time, effort and money when you lose even a single important information about the business. Worst case scenario, when a company failed to immediately solve this kind of problem, it might even result in the failure of the whole business.
The Real Consequence of Data Loss
Without any doubts, data breach or data loss will really cost a company or even an individual a certain amount of money. Companies stay in the industry as long as they have the money, and suffering from data loss may cause a little scratch on your bank accounts, however, if this issue gets a little too long to be responded and addressed, the worse may come to worst. If you let your employees work when your network is currently suffering from an issue it will result in the “cost of slow time” wherein, the productivity is getting highly affected by technical issues. This just looks like works being a little neglected, it might look small for now but as you realize it, this may cause you big impact as you constantly pay for your network services, your employees and for IT specialists without getting any revenue in return.
Aside from less productivity of employees, a valuable amount of time is surely being wasted. Recovery and maintenance of this kind of issues normally last for several days and while doing the process, it is also impossible to start with a new task or finish a work. Thus, your company is just losing money instead of making revenue. At the same time, there are cases where data loss even results with several legal challenges from both consumer and authorities due to a matter of compliance of federal regulations of PCI-DSS and HIPAA. All of this will result inan increase to data breach and if this issue continues,employees might just make away to simply finish their work that will result to the discontentment and unhappiness of the consumers end up to the fallout of further projects.
Ways to Prevent Data Loss
Data loss is really inevitable in every business but there is a number of ways to lessen the possibility of this issue. The first thing every company should consider is the basic and the simplest stepsin securing data which include arranging backups, educating employees and coming up with a certain security standard.Take note that it is a necessity to restore data from backup devices. The most promising backup plan is to store your data in a completely different location to ensure that the physical risk of data loss is highly avoided.This kind of events must be regularly scheduled and taken into serious accounts. It may be an old saying, but take it as a simple reminder, “prevention is so much better than cure” and “regrets are felt when it’s just all too late”.
There are definitely a lot of ways to backup your data which may include cloud storage or enterprise data storage. Whatever you choose, it is necessary for you to ensure that all of your files are copied and handled properly. It will really be a waste of effort if you did backup your files but it was not properly done. Execute some steps to make sure that all files are on proper formats, it can be opened and there is enough space for all of your files. There are still a lot of techniques to ensure your data security and prevent data breach or loss.
- Separateyour Hard Drive
For assurance, you can definitely partition your hard drive and divide it into specific data zones and programs. This just simply means that, if the program section of the hard drive got damaged, you can recover its data as it is kept and stored on another location.
- Execute an Efficient Data Retrieval Step
One of the most effective data retrieval steps is disk defragmentation which means that the files data blocks are moved into the disk to get the entire element of the file together in one place. This process decreases data system fragmentation and enhances the effectiveness of file retrieval. Thus, improving the whole performance of your workstation, aside from this, defragmentation is also a great step to clean the storage and create a much bigger free storage space
Installing an anti-virus and malware software is one of the simplest and effective ways to improve security in your workstation; either it is your personal or your work computer. It is just a simple reminder that you have to keep it updated to make sure it’s working properly.
- Safe, Clean and Dry
The physical environment of your computer may affect its performance. It is highly recommended to put your computers in a stationary location where they are kept away from dusty and moist places and most especially away from open spaces to decrease the risk of thievery.
- Employee Access
All employees involved in managing the company’s information should be aware of the importance of every bit of data of the company. The company should be able to provide them with proper training about confidentiality and ensure that they are trustworthy enough to be given such access.
Data is really important in our digitized world; every business must learn to take care of it in all ways to ensure the safety of the company and its success.
The Real Cost of Data Loss And How To Prevent It – http://techgenix.com/real-cost-data-loss-and-how-prevent-it/
Top 5 Causes of Data Loss – https://www.imobie.com/support/top-5-causes-of-data-loss.htm
10 Common Causes of Data Loss – https://consoltech.com/blog/10-common-causes-of-data-loss/
Disk Defragmentation – https://techopedia.com/definition/14331/disk-defragmentation
Data Loss: Understanding the Causes and Costs – https://datasecurity.dell.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/MozyEnterprise-Data-Loss-Causes-and-Costs.pdf
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