hardware in trash can

Data Loss Examples: 4 everyday threats to your data

Recently, we covered five real-life data loss nightmares. From online dating and government agencies to hardware manufacturers and news agencies, these five data loss examples span a variety of industries.

The consequences of the data loss that stemmed from these five examples were devastating, crippling reputations, pocketbooks, and futures. However, these examples still might not be enough to showcase the “everyday” reality of data loss for working professionals.

So let’s take a moment to discuss 4 everyday threats to your data.

Lost Devices

Like with the Daily Mail incident (a lost laptop) and even with the situation involving the English prison system (a lost USB drive), a lost (or stolen) device won’t just set you back financially. In reality, this is one of the simplest ways for your company to fall victim to data loss.

When you consider the number of employees using personal devices to access work data, this threat of potential data loss becomes even greater and in turn, even scarier. Lose the wrong device with the right data on it and your business could suffer from data loss that is either impossible to recover or that eventually exposes the sensitive information of partners, clients, employees, or all of the above.

(P.S., It’s not just devices you have to worry about losing. What happens if you misplace a sensitive document?)

Accidents

At the end of the day, losing a device is an accident. But that’s not the only type of accident that leads to data loss.

Have you ever accidentally deleted something? Maybe that time you were able to recover the lost data … but what about next time? Or the time after that?

Accidents are a leading cause of data loss in the professional world because you can’t always hunt down a deleted document in the Recycle Bin. In most cases, this data is dumped after a few months and overwritten by new data.

For example, what if someone unknowingly deletes a sensitive work document? Let’s say that a few months later, another person requires that deleted document for an important task. What happens then?

At this point, the data is already long gone and overwritten — which means that, unfortunately, that person is out of luck.

Hardware Malfunctions

Hardware isn’t always reliable. More specifically, hard drives stop working all the time, making loads of data inaccessible in the process.

In fact, malfunctioning hardware isn’t just a leading cause of data loss; it’s the leading cause of data loss. Because of this, keeping hardware healthy and in prime condition has become a necessity for many companies across the world.

This being said, hardware malfunctions can’t always be avoided. Some are inevitable and can be the direct result of a water leak, power outage, or even a tiny bump.

Malware and Hackers

While completely losing your data to hackers and malware isn’t exactly considered an “everyday” occurrence, having it breached is a different story. At this point, your data isn’t exactly lost, but it’s certainly been seen and handled by malicious actors — like it was a few years ago with Ashley Madison and like it currently is with Equifax.

But then again, we now have ransomware to consider. Now this is a form of malware that will take your data and make it inaccessible, resulting in true-to-form data loss. Sure, if you pay the fine, you might get your data thing — but that’s not a definite reality. It could be gone forever.

If you’d like to learn more about data loss and it how happens to businesses, then check out our report on 5 Data Loss Nightmares. You’ll pick up some interesting facts and learn how to better protect your data in the process.