Corporate data can dissipate in various ways, from sudden hardware failures to power outages and nasty malware attacks. Should your company lose access to critical business data, the consequences could be catastrophic: operational disruptions, income loss, and even lawsuits.
But there is good news for Australian businesses concerned about data loss. Companies can mitigate the risk by understanding the key causes and taking preventative measures. And should the unthinkable happen, our data recovery services will retrieve some (if not all) of those invaluable missing files.
The Most Common Causes of Data Loss
The first step in an effective Data Loss Prevention (DLP) strategy is understanding the risks. Here’s a shortlist of the most common data loss culprits.
Storage drives don’t last forever, especially old-school hard disk drives (HDD) featuring fragile moving parts. Solid-state drives (SSD) are more reliable yet certainly not invincible. Other computational components—such as the motherboard or CPU—can also fail, making your data temporarily inaccessible as the computer ceases functioning.
Most employees have accidentally deleted files they needed to keep at some point in their careers. While it’s often possible to retrieve files from the recycling bin, the task becomes more complex if it’s been purged to free up space. Inadvertently reformatting the wrong storage drive is another common data loss blunder.
Viruses & Malware
No matter how well you secure your IT infrastructure, every internet-enabled device is susceptible to many online threats. If an employee visits a shady website or opens a harmful email attachment, malicious software could infiltrate your system. Viruses and malware can delete, damage, or encrypt your critical corporate files.
File & Software Corruption
Even the most reliable operating systems are prone to going haywire, which could see you lose instant access to your PC. System files can become corrupted due to improper start-up or shut-down procedures, as well as stopping a file transfer while in progress. Plus, everyday application errors can result in file corruption and data loss.
While the electrical network is fairly reliable throughout Australia, power outages aren’t unheard of. The most common cause is extreme weather, such as heatwaves, bushfires, floods, and storms. Sudden blackouts can also occur due to infrastructure failures in the local energy grid. And when the power cuts out, your company computers become vulnerable to surge-related data loss.
Accidental Damage & Vandalism
You can unintentionally destroy your data in many ways, from knocking a laptop off the table to spilling coffee on an external storage drive. Although relatively uncommon, vandalism is another potential threat to your company’s data.
How to Keep Your Data Safe & Secure
Now that you understand the most prolific data loss causes, here are some handy preventative tips. Incorporate these tactics into your overarching DLP strategy to safely maintain your corporate files.
Backup Your Files
A consistent and reliable file backup procedure lets your business bounce back from a potentially catastrophic data loss event. Opt for an automated system rather than ordering your employees to manually backup files daily. Professional backup software runs seamlessly in the background—a true, set-it-and-forget-it solution.
External hard drives offer a superb on-site backup solution as they are less prone to malfunction than internal drives. Do you lack the expertise to set up something in-house? Geeks2U provides a range of data backup services incorporating on-site storage or cloud-based solutions.
Safeguard your hardware
If you store crucial business data on-site (as opposed to the cloud), it’s prudent to protect your hardware. Install surge protectors to safeguard against power failures and fortify your premises with CCTV cameras and burglar-proof doors. Server rooms should feature extra security measures, such as biometric fingerprint readers, to only grant access to authorised personnel.
Upgrade Your Hardware
Old, worn-out computers are more likely to malfunction than spiffy new PCs. By modernising your IT infrastructure, you can minimise the likelihood of a sudden data loss event. As replacing your hardware is a costly endeavour, you may only choose to upgrade the computers and storage drives most likely to fail.
As a rule of thumb, aim to replace your IT hardware once it reaches around five years of age.
Keep Work Areas Clean
A strict no-food-or-drink-at-the-desk policy protects your company computers from knocked-over soft drinks and grease-stained keys. This rule helps keep your data safe and protects your hardware against accidental mishaps. Plus, many employees feel taking their lunch break outside the office re-energises them for the afternoon.
Consider regular cleaning services to eliminate dust build-up, which can clog ventilation and cause overheating.
Install Anti-virus & Anti-malware Software
Anti-virus/malware applications provide a potent first line of defence against malicious software. Although a plethora of free anti-virus platforms are available online, they don’t offer the best protection for businesses. Investing in a reputable subscription-based anti-virus suite is a sensible decision for every Australian company.
Configure your software to automatically scan for threats and update as new versions become available. Geeks2U can optimise your anti-virus software as part of our Prepaid Computer Setup Service.
Train Your Employees
Strong data governance policies help keep your company data safe. But it’s not enough to simply have procedures in place. You need to train your employees on best data management practices. If your team know how to recognise phishing emails, social engineering campaigns, and malicious links, there’s less chance you’ll succumb to a virus, ransomware, or malware attack.
Need some outside help? Geeks2U offers a comprehensive Digital Security Check to keep Australian businesses safe.
Keep Your Software Updated
Out-dated operating systems, software applications, and anti-virus programs leave your IT infrastructure vulnerable to online threats. Furthermore, non-updated software crashes and malfunctions more often, making you susceptible to file corruption and sudden data loss. Train your staff to update all their applications as soon as a new version becomes available.
Older operating systems, on the whole, provide less protection than newer releases. Consider upgrading to a more recent version of Windows.
Implement Data Loss Prevention Software
DLP software is specifically designed to avoid data loss. By providing endpoint protection, intrusion prevention, and blocking suspicious files, DLP software is a powerful tool to complement your anti-virus programs and other security measures.
Need help selecting a suitable DLP program and setting it up? Geeks2U can provide tailor-made advice and install/configure a reputable program on your behalf.
Geeks2U: Your Data Recovery Specialists
If your business has experienced an unexpected data loss event, there’s no need to stress just yet. Geeks2U offers expert data recovery services to resolve critical losses and facilitate business continuity.
With rapid turnaround times (including same-day services) and over a decade of industry expertise, we’re your go-to data recovery specialists. On-site servicing and multiple locations throughout Australia let us provide a convenient data recovery solution for your business needs.
Over the years, we’ve successfully recovered corrupted data from numerous sources. Examples include HDDs, SSDs, external drives, memory cards, USB flash drives, and older mediums like CDs, DVDs, and tapes. With a working knowledge of all the major brands—think Apple, Samsung, HP, Sony, Lenovo, Asus, Seagate, Dell, SanDisk, and more—we’ve got the skills to get your business back on track.
Plus, with a no-data-no-fee guarantee, you can rest assured you won’t waste money on a lost cause.