With each passing year, data security becomes more important. Digital transformation is a reality in almost every company. They hold sensitive data about employees, customers, and vendors. Data breaches can allow hackers to access your data. However, poor security and training could also lead to data loss. This blog offers the top ways to help prevent data loss.
There are steps you can take in order to protect your data from being lost or stolen, whether it is due to file corruption, human error or damage, or laptop theft. Continue reading to find out more about the causes of data loss and how to safeguard your internal systems against data breaches by keeping company data secure
What Causes Data Loss
It is crucial to understand what causes data loss in business files. This will help protect intellectual property and other sensitive files. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of data loss.
User error is the leading cause of data loss. Even the most skilled worker can make mistakes.
- Private information is shared with the wrong people
- Delete files that weren’t meant to be deleted
- Emailing confidential data to the wrong person
- Theft or loss of documents containing corporate data
- Properly disposing of software or hardware containing critical data
- Theft or loss of unencrypted computer systems
Problems with a Computer’s Hard Drive
Hard drives are the primary storage device for data on any computer. Hardware failure is the second most common reason for data loss after human errors. While most failures are caused by mechanical failure, misuse can also be a major reason. Hardware malfunctions can also be caused by external factors such as:
- Water or fire damage
- Strom surges and outages
There are other factors that could cause a hard drive’s failure, including:
- Software corruption
- File corruption or data corruption
- User error
- Read instability before you drive
Some hard drives fail slowly, which can be exacerbated by the above. You should keep maintenance logs and ensure hard drive performance is monitored so that you can detect a failing hard disk before it causes data loss. Here are some signs that your hard drive is failing:
- Cyclical screeching, grinding, or clicking sounds
- Multiple hard drive crashes
- More bad sectors during chkdsk scans
- Problems with boot-up
- Hot devices
- Slow performance during standard processes
- Files that are corrupted, missing, or destroyed and files that fail to open
- Recurring freezes may require a hard reboot
Also read: How Top 10 DDoS Protection Services for 2022
Major data loss can be caused by viruses, spyware, and malware. Email-based attacks, Phishing, and other threats can steal, destroy, and encrypt data. They could infiltrate and corrupt your entire system.
Hackers know that there are many opportunities for theft and cybercrime with more e-commerce websites, CMS systems, and apps than ever before. You risk leaving sensitive information such as customer data open to hackers if you don’t follow stringent security practices and actively maintain these.
Computer Theft or Data Theft
People have more access to company phones, tablets, and laptops because of the mobile workforce. Unlike in the past, only executives and managers could get hardware for their company to take home. Now almost everyone can access it. Although this might be a great way to increase productivity, it poses a serious risk in terms of data loss.
Employees who leave their portable devices unattended can cry out for criminals to steal them. While replacing a company phone or laptop is an inconvenience, it is worth the cost of losing all your data or having it breached.
It’s well-known that liquids and electronic devices don’t mix well. Many companies allow employees to have tea or coffee while working on computers. It is important to ensure that your team is well-rested at all times. However, you should also provide breaks from computers for employees to avoid data loss.
Power outages are another major cause of data loss. Unexpectedly, a power outage or surge could cause a computer’s shut down. Operating systems can be complex and therefore shutdown procedures are necessary to protect them. Your computer may not shut down properly if it isn’t. All data could be lost.
Additionally, power outages and frequent hard reboots can greatly reduce the life expectancy of hard drives. A computer that restarts after it has been shut down resets its read and write heads to their original positions, which causes small defects on the hard drive. This increases the chance of a head collision, which can cause the hard drive to be destroyed.
Data Loss Prevention Strategies
You need to use a multi-pronged approach how to prevent data loss in your company. Also, make sure you actively maintain it on an ongoing basis. These steps can be part of your disaster recovery plan to improve data security.
Study Business Data and Government Regulations
The first step to prevent data loss is to run a data sweep. This will allow you to assess what data your company has and how sensitive. This information will allow you to verify that your company is current and in compliance with the latest government regulations. These regulations are constantly changing.
Safety is not guaranteed by compliance. However, regulations exist to ensure safety in an ever-changing digital world.
An outline of a Data Recovery Process
Businesses that store sensitive data should have a disaster recovery plan. It should include instructions on how to backup and encrypt data and security policies for all devices. Also, outline the steps you will take in the event of a data breach.
This plan should not only outline how to respond to data loss but also contain all preventative measures that you can take to avoid the worst.
Data backup is one of the best ways to protect against potential problems. It doesn’t matter whether hackers or computer hacks attack you, if you have backups you can be sure that the data is safe.
As part of your disaster recovery process, you should have a backup plan. You must also keep track of the backup solution in order to make sure it is working properly.
For security reasons, encryption is essential in order to prevent malicious attacks. It is nearly impossible for anyone to access your company’s data without strong encryption protocols.
Hidden Sensitive Information behind Strong Passwords
All accounts and networks containing sensitive information should be password protected and two-factor authenticated. It is important that your company has a policy that all employees use strong passwords. This should include clear instructions on how to store passwords safely and what it means. Two-factor authentication is when a second set is sent to an authorized device in order to grant access.
Also read: How to Secure Your Business Wi-Fi Network
Use Antivirus Software and Malware Protection
For data protection, your firewall and antivirus software is essential. Hackers can steal data by infiltrating networks or hard drives using malware and viruses. Your company’s data is not the only thing at risk. It’s your employees, vendors, and customers data as well.
The impact of malware or virus infiltration could have devastating consequences for sensitive information such as bank accounts, phone numbers, and addresses. To avoid future problems, it is crucial to choose the best software and keep it updated.
Plan for Power Surges
If you don’t have the proper security measures, a power outage can cause damage to your entire network. A backup power supply can protect your data from being lost due to improper shutdowns. A backup power supply can also protect your company from revenue loss due to downtime.
Update and Patch Software
For business operations to be protected against data loss, patching and updating are essential. Cyberattackers can spot weaknesses and exploit them to gain access to valuable data. These best practices will ensure that you have the most current security measures and know vulnerabilities fixed.
Maintain Equipment and Records
It is important to keep records and maintain equipment in order to protect your company from data loss. Cooling your equipment with fans can prolong its life expectancy. You can also prevent data loss by keeping your computer clean and documenting all maintenance, backup, and replacement requirements.
Even though you could have the best disaster recovery plan, it won’t make a difference if your employees aren’t trained. Your workforce should be made aware of the seriousness of data loss and provided with thorough training about the procedures and processes that can be used to prevent it.
You should ensure that only company employees have access to sensitive data. You can set access levels and create policies to limit the use of company data. Employees can be asked to sign security agreements and commit to preventing data leakage while they are with your company.