Business data loss: Common causes and how to safeguard against them

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Data is the lifeblood of a business. It’s absolutely essential for smooth operations and efficient service delivery. It’s also highly susceptible to loss due to accidental or intentional destruction, deletion, corruption, or inaccessibility. Data loss can strike at any point during storage, transmission, and processing, or within a network.

The high cost of data loss

Data loss is far more than simply an inconvenience; it can have devastating consequences for your business. 

  • Decreased productivity: Data loss can bring your operations to a screeching halt. Your employees may not be able to access important files or information, leading to lost productivity and missed deadlines.
  • Financial losses: Recovering lost data can be expensive, and you may also lose revenue due to disrupted operations. In the worst-case scenario, data loss can force your business to close its doors.
  • Reputational damage: Customers who learn that their data has been compromised may lose trust in your company and take their business elsewhere. The negative publicity from a data loss incident can also make it challenging for you to attract new customers.
  • Legal liabilities: Data privacy regulations require businesses to protect customer information. If a data loss incident exposes customer data, you could face hefty fines from regulatory bodies. Your customers may also sue your company for damages.
Read also: 6 Business data loss stories

Common causes of business data loss

Here are some of the common culprits of data loss and how you can keep them at bay:

Human error

Even the most conscientious employees can make unintentional errors when handling data. A single misclick could lead to the accidental deletion of important files. Employees may also format storage devices incorrectly, wiping information clean. What’s more, they may accidentally drop or spill liquids on their devices or fail to follow safe device ejection practices, causing physical damage and subsequent data loss.

To combat data loss due to human error, educate employees on proper data handling procedures. You should also limit user access to only necessary files and folders to minimize the risk of accidental deletion. 

Natural disasters

Fire, floods, and other natural disasters can wreak havoc on your data if it’s stored only on site. Cloud-based backup solutions offer a powerful safeguard. By backing up your data to the cloud, you can ensure your data is safe and accessible, even if your physical location is compromised. 

For an extra layer of protection, consider implementing additional disaster recovery measures within your office, such as flood sensors, fire suppression systems, and backup generators. These measures can help prevent physical damage to your data storage systems and ensure business continuity in the event of a disaster.


Malicious software, or malware, can infiltrate your system, steal sensitive information, and corrupt your data. Ransomware, in particular, encrypts your data, essentially holding it hostage until you pay a ransom for its decryption.

To protect against malware, use business-grade antivirus and anti-malware solutions and keep them up to date at all times. You should also implement backup and disaster recovery solutions with built-in malware protection to detect and mitigate ransomware attacks. Moreover, educate employees on the dangers of phishing scams and other common tactics used to deliver malware. 

Hardware failure

As hard drives and other hardware age, their risk of failure increases, potentially leading to data loss. 

Here’s a three-pronged approach to combat hardware-related data loss. First, implement a backup and disaster recovery solution with frequent backup schedules to ensure you have a recent copy of your data readily available. Next, regularly upgrade hardware components based on manufacturer recommendations to prevent unexpected failures. Finally, invest in backup generators to safeguard against data loss caused by power outages that could trigger hardware malfunctions.

Software failure 

Software bugs and crashes can lead to data corruption or loss. This can happen due to outdated software, faulty integrations, or unexpected glitches. 

To fortify your defenses against software-related data loss, update your software and operating systems regularly. Software updates often address known vulnerabilities that could be exploited to corrupt or steal your data. You should also back up all application data to create a safety net against data loss. Moreover, exercise caution when integrating third-party software. Make sure to verify its compatibility with your existing systems to minimize the risk of conflicts that could trigger data loss.

Safeguard your business against data loss with SpectrumWise’s business continuity planning service. Our IT specialists will assess your operations to pinpoint vulnerabilities in case of a disaster. We’ll then craft a customized disaster recovery plan to guarantee a swift return to normal operations. Schedule a consultation with us today.


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