Data loss incidents can happen at any moment. There are various causes for data loss, including natural disasters like earthquakes, massive power outages, or losing data due to human error or a virus attack. In this article, I’ll discuss the top seven causes of data loss and how to prevent data loss by taking early precautions.
Top 7 Causes of Data Loss
Discussed below are the top seven causes of data loss a user may encounter.
- Human Error—the top risk of losing data is deleting files or parts of texts without having any backups available. Updating files or deleting them are very common daily activities. We may accidentally delete wrong files or overwrite the parts we did not intend.
- Viruses and Malware—computer viruses can be very annoying if they’re not dealt with properly. There are many different types of viruses. Often, data loss is just a side effect of some larger damage done to your operating system by a virus or malware.
- Hard Drive Failure—computer hard drives are very fragile. They break down more often than any other computing device. Memory devices may also be damaged when computers are accidentally dropped. A hard drive failure may cause your data to be lost beyond the point of recovery.
- Power Failures—power failures or sudden changes in voltage can cause unsaved data to be lost and it may also result in file corruption. Power failures may affect operating systems or hardware.
- Computer Theft—when your computer or laptop is stolen, you may also lose data. The danger of thieves breaking into your home or office and stealing electronic devices always exists. You may leave your laptop unattended while traveling or lose it in crowded places such as an airport, conference centers or coffee shops.
- Liquid Damages—the damages caused by spilling drinks on your computer can cause a short circuit of important electronic components. This can cause severe damage to your computer and losing data stored in it.
- Disasters—fire accidents and explosions or natural disasters can destroy both your computer and data saved on it. It is also dangerous to the backups that are stored in the same house. In this case, both the computer and backup drive will be destroyed and data will be completely lost.
Tips to Prevent Data Loss
We often lose data because we do not have proper workflow procedures. Here are some tips for a safer workflow to prevent data loss:
- Regular Backups—to prevent data loss from laptops or mobile phones from any liquid spilling over it, power surges and theft, having a timely backup at a centralized location can save the day.
- Firewall and Antivirus—installing firewall software can ensure the protection of the system from any external connections. Always use high quality and updated anti-virus program.
- Protect Data from Power Failures—always use a backup battery device to deal with sudden power failure.
- Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan—be ready to deal with any data loss event. Having a disaster recovery plan (DRP) will help you recover your lost data.
- Data Encryption—use a good encryption solution to ensure that no matter who gets their hands on your data, they cannot access it.
- Patch and Update Your Systems—frequently install security updates to ensure that systems remain as secure as possible
- Create a computer-friendly Environment—keep water or any liquid away from the computer, and keep it in a dust-free and in a safe location.
How DLP Solution Work
A data loss prevention (DLP) solution is a tool or set of tools designed to detect and prevent data breaches, or unwanted destruction of sensitive data.
Here is a list of DLP solution tools and technologies that are designed to protect your data:
- Securing Data in Motion—a technology installed at the network edge, which analyzes traffic to detect sensitive data sent in violation of security policies.
- Securing Endpoints—agents installed in your network endpoints to control information transfer between users or groups of users and external parties. There are endpoint-based DLP solution tools that identify and block suspicious real-time communications and send an alarm to the security control center.
- Securing Data at Rest—access control, encryption and data retention policies to protect archived organizational data.
- Data Identification—one of the inputs a DLP solution tool needs is which data is sensitive and needs tight protection. Data can be defined as sensitive manually by applying rules and metadata, or automatically using technologies such as machine learning.
- Securing Data in Use—a DLP solution can monitor and send an alarm each time it detects unauthorized activities that users perform.
- Data Leak Detection—DLP solutions identify data transfers that are anomalous or suspicious, and sends an alarm when such an event is detected.
The most valuable asset any organization or individual has is the data they store on their network. You should be aware that data loss can strike at any time and can occur in many forms, from a laptop theft to storage device failure, to catastrophic weather conditions, or some liquid spilling on a laptop. To protect your data, implement the data loss prevention techniques we discussed in this article. This will save you a lot of time, money and your precious data.