The average cost of data loss hovers around $900,000, EMC Global reports. And that cost continues to climb depending on how many vendors are involved with the business. The report also stated that data loss caused disruption 29 percent of the time, with the average downtime being 22 hours. The question isn’t whether or not businesses need data protection, it’s why they’re still having problems with data loss. Here’s a look at why one in five businesses have data loss problems and what to do about it.
The rise of ransomware has become a pervasive threat to businesses. According to the FBI, over 992 ransomware complaints were received from April 2014 to June 2015 and resulted in over $18 million in losses. Once it infects your devices, hackers demand money to release your data or threaten to destroy it. Some businesses have no choice but to meet the demands in hopes of retrieving valuable data. Companies can combat attacks by encrypting and storing their data to the latest standards in cloud storage. Regularly changing passwords, limiting employee access and revoking former employer’s credentials can also help curb malicious activity.
A Shift to Mobile Devices
Research from the Cloud Security Alliance found that using mobile devices and adopting bring your own device (BYOD) policies pose a data threat to enterprises. Data loss from stolen or decommissioned devices and data leaks through third-party applications are just some of the ways businesses put themselves at risk. Using insecure Wi-Fi can also leak data into the wrong hands resulting in more than just data loss, but a compromise of sensitive information.
Set limits on what type of data and systems employees can connect to while using their device. Management can also issue company devices and forbid or severely limit personal activity.
Faulty Backup Systems
Implementing a backup system and never testing it creates a false sense of security for businesses. But small companies who take the time to run a few tests and then move onto their next task are also at risk. Any change in the data environment requires backup testing to ensure everything is still running smoothly. However, that can eat up valuable time and resources.
Instead of relying on internal servers and hard drives to regularly back up data, companies can switch to a third-party system to automatically do it for them. Online backup services run in the background and periodically back up your devices without needing to do anything past the initial setup. If disaster strikes, simply restore your data or choose a lost file for an important presentation.
Even the most diligent and cautious companies can suffer data loss from simple hardware problems. Hardware failures, corrupted RAM and failing to eject external hard drives before disconnecting can all lead to data corruption and loss. Upgrading to cloud-based storage and applications can help reduce the reliance on hardware and allow for quick restoration. Management can also work with IT departments to design safeguards and strategies for handling hardware and sensitive data servers and stations.