In the use of information technology, the consequences of losing data or information can be very critical.
Loss of data may take place as a result of the following occurrences:
- Human errors including:
- Accidental reformatting of a hard drive
- Intentional or unintentional deletion of vital data.
- Hard disk and storage drive failures including:
- RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) failure
- NAS (Network-attached storage) Failure
- Server failure
- Natural disasters and physical damages,
- Software failure and corruption of file systems
- Virus and Malicious attacks
The indisputable fact is that current technology offer sophisticated data recovery solutions at all levels. It does not matter the type of media involved, the brand of computer system, the operating system platform or the capacity of your computer server, in most cases data is recoverable.
However, the cost of data loss can sometimes be immeasurable, when you consider the consequences of not having the data anymore, the time you need to recreate or recover the data and the negative impact it will have on family, colleagues, an entire management information system, business or external parties involved or have a stake in the lost data.
For instance, in a business environment, the cost of data loss may run into millions of dollars per hour. Data recovery time depends on the capacity of the media and it may take days to recover lost information.
In addition, recovering lost data can be very expensive, depending on the extent of damage done to the disk or hard drive in question.
It is important to stress that the highest cause of data loss can be attributed to human error, so the onus is on us to prevent the loss of our valuable data as much as possible.
The following simple but crucial steps should be taken to prevent loss of data:
- Regular backup of data (both internal and external).
- Installation and constant update of antivirus protection.
- Continuous update of computer systems and servers to apply latest security fixes.
- Installation and effective maintenance of firewalls to prevent intrusion and malicious attacks.
- Installation of DLP (Data Loss Prevention) systems to monitor and protect data usage by organizations.
- Installation of appropriate mechanisms to protect against power failure and power surge.
It is impossible to completely prevent the loss of data. However, in as much as everyone or entity using a machine to process and store vital information is at risk of losing it, taking adequate precautions to minimize the risk is always a wise decision.