5 things that love data loss more than hackers

It’s really easy to lump all data loss culprits into two categories: hackers and natural disasters.

Now, if you don’t live in an area typically affected by building-destroying natural disasters, then — apparently — you only have one data threat to worry about. However, if you’re like most SMBs out there, then you don’t really think hackers are that much of a threat to you anyway.

Who would want your data?

So, let’s just pretend for a moment that SMBs aren’t the favored target of many cyber criminals (which they are). And let’s just pretend for a moment that 60% of SMBs affected by a data breach don’t go out of business within the first six months of a breach (which they do).

Source: CSO

Naturally, this would mean that your data is safe, right? You aren’t affected by natural disasters, and hackers are a non-issue. It’s a done deal.

Well, that would be great and all, but that lumping you did at the very beginning of this article was entirely and utterly wrong, and here are five reasons why.

It’s a blackout, business-style.

Believe it or not, power is important. No, not the false sense of power you feel every morning when you look at yourself in the bathroom mirror. More so is the electrical power that keeps those lights on when you’re inside that bathroom.

When the power goes out, this can cause problems. Sure, things will turn off and it might be dark for a bit, but it goes deeper than that. You see, technology is sensitive. When it’s suddenly — and forcibly — turned off, its components get “all out of whack.”

Think about it this way.

Let’s say that, for some reason, your brain decides to take a nap. At the time, you’re standing up. But since your brain wants to go night-night, the rest of your body needs to follow suit. After your brain closes its eyes, the eyes on your face also close. Your legs buckle; your breathing slows, and, subsequently, you fall to the ground.

When your legs buckle, your ankles might turn in ways they aren’t meant to turn, and when your body falls to the ground, your head might hit the floor in a way it isn’t meant to be hit. When you wake up from your little nap, you might have some trouble standing back up and remembering what happened.

Your hardware feels the same way when it’s forced to take a nap.

Source: Halfgaar

If it turns off when it’s in the middle of a task (like if a computer is writing data to its disk), then some of that data might never make it to the disk or it might be corrupted in the process. If that same computer is forcibly turned off too many times, then it might not turn back on at all — meaning you lose all data on that machine, not just the data you were working on when it turned off.

Another computer bites the dust.

A power failure isn’t the only reason hardware messes up. It can just be old. Or dropped. Or kicked. Or whatever.

Stuff happens. And when stuff happens to your hardware, it also happens to your data.

That’s really all there is to that.

But it was an accident …

To be human is to err … or at least, that’s what Alexander Pope thought back in the 18th century.

And in this instance, it’s relatively easy to agree with this particular English poet. Humans are prone to mistakes. So much so, in fact, that some people feel as if making mistakes is the only thing they’re good at.

Throw some complicated and expensive technology into that boiling pot of mistake-prone humans and you’re asking for something bad to go down. More specifically, though, you’re asking for data to be deleted, altered, or destroyed.

This (sometimes) irreversible damage to your data can happen in a variety of ways — manually deleting data too soon, spilling a cup of water over a computer, bumping into a hard drive that’s older than you are …  

But whatever the case, it will result in lost data — unless you have that data properly backed up and protected in a separate location.

Well, aren’t you just an angry little human.

Humans don’t just make mistakes. They also get angry. They get manipulative. And they get downright vindictive.

In other words, your data will forever remain a target of an employee that’s been recently fired, mistreated, or passed up for a promotion.

While you might think this type of thing only happens in the movies, it does not. In fact, it happens quite a bit in real-life business. And if an employer doesn’t have the proper administrative safeguards set in place, then it’s really not even that hard.

For an employee to maliciously delete, alter, or even expose data after they’ve been “mistreated” or fired usually only requires a few clicks of the mouse. It requires a whole lot more than that to restore that very same data.

Did someone say unnatural disasters?

There are natural disasters and then there are unnatural disasters.

Or, better put, there are manmade disasters.

This is the type of situation where people feel as though life is out to get them. And while that very well might be the case for you and your business, it doesn’t mean that your data has to go down with you. With the proper backups, any amount of data can outlive a manmade disaster — and yes, it can even outlive that leaky faucet upstairs.  

Okay, okay … so everything and everyone is out to get my data. But what does all of this mean?

Well, it means that you need to backup your data consistently and strategically. Many of these situations can’t be avoided forever. You will have hardware malfunctions; you will lose power, and you will see the dawn of a leaky faucet. Because of this, you need to protect your data.