Data is integral to your business, whether you run a local heating and cooling company or a large multinational organization. From the payment information of your customers or clients to your inventory and employee payroll information, your business processes, transmits, and stores huge amounts of information on a daily basis.

Imagine you suddenly lose access to your data? What then? Service requests and appointments, delivery schedules, client contact details, expense sheets and any other information you access through your business network—gone forever.

As a business owner, it’s your duty to make sure your network and data are as secure as possible and protected against a wide range of unfortunate disasters that can result in permanent data loss. The steps you take now could be the difference between closing your business and restarting operations seamlessly in the event of a destroyed server or software corruption.

In this blog, we’ll explain just what we mean when we say “data loss,” including the most common causes of data loss for small- to medium-sized businesses. We’ll also explain the severe consequences data loss can have on a business and the steps you can take to protect your business.

What is Data Loss?

Data loss is the term for a process or event that leads to data being deleted, corrupted, or otherwise made unreadable by a user, software, or application. This can result from a destroyed server, a malware attack, and even simple human error in which data gets deleted mistakenly without an available backup to restore it.

Common Causes of Data Loss for Businesses

Despite the steady rise of data loss incidents in recent years, many business owners are blissfully unaware of the risks they are taking with their network. Below are the top causes of lost data for small- to medium-sized businesses and how frequently these occur.

1. Damaged Hard Drive

From fires and floods to natural wear over time, a damaged hard drive can render the data on it useless and inaccessible. Many business owners are adopting cloud storage solutions to back up their data and prevent this type of loss.

An estimated 140,000 hard drives fail in the United States each week!

2. Power Outages

Power outages can lead to both short- and long-term data loss. If your business hosts its own server, operations can be left at a standstill until the power is restored without remote data accessibility through the cloud. In some cases, data can be permanently lost after a power outage. This can include any files that were unsaved when the power went out and any files that may have been corrupted from a power surge.

Despite this, 68% of small- to medium-sized businesses don’t have a data recovery plan!

3. Software Corruption

If you fall behind on software updates, improperly update your software, or update your software to a version that is full of bugs, your software and the data on it can become corrupted and inaccessible, leaving your business helpless until the problem gets resolved. The time and money it takes to repair or reinstall your software can impact your bottom line, with no guarantee your data will be restored in the end.

4. Human Error

The human element should never be overlooked when it comes to your data. Employees can accidentally (or purposely) hit the delete button and erase important files. Spills and other physical damage can render storage devices inoperable and result in data loss. Clicking on a spammy email that infects your system with a virus is also considered a human error.

Nearly 30% of all data loss can be attributed to human errors.

Recovering from Data Loss

When critical business documents and data are corrupted or lost, it can leave operations at a standstill. For many small- to medium-sized businesses, recovering from a data loss is not always possible, even with a top-rated data recovery company. If your business doesn’t have the money to support itself during an extended lull, there may be no other option but to liquidate the business.

According to Data Loss Statistics by the Boston Computing Network, an estimated 60% of businesses that lose their data shut down within six months.

Have a Disaster Recovery Plan

If your business network is unsecured and not regularly backed up to the cloud, you run the risk of losing your critical company and consumer data—a crisis from which many SMBs cannot recover. That is why it is imperative that you take proactive measures to protect your network and have an effective disaster recovery plan that fits the needs of your business.

With Managed I.T. Services from 1SEO, you can keep your business secure for one low, monthly rate which includes:

  • Unlimited Technical Support
  • Hardware & Server Support
  • 24/7 Network Monitoring
  • Regular Data Backups
  • Antivirus Protection

With Cloud Storage Solutions from 1SEO, you can access your documents and data from anywhere, even during power outages.

  • Increased Protection from Unauthorized Users
  • Freedom from Infrastructure Limitations
  • Private Backup & Support
  • Cloud Storage & Security
  • Rapid Scalability

With Disaster I.T. Recovery Services from 1SEO, you can potentially restore your lost data without giving into ransomware demands or closing your business.

  • Comprehensive Data Recovery Plan
  • Off-Site Disaster Recovery Solutions
  • Minimized Downtime & Lost Revenue

If your business has an in-house I.T. staff, we can work with them to provide the network security your business needs to protect itself. If your business needs a full-service managed I.T. service provider, our local in-house team of I.T. experts has you covered as well.

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Contact 1SEO I.T. Support & Digital Marketing today and take the first step toward securing the future of your business!