This is not only common in small companies as search engine giant, Google, have also fallen victim in the past. It is on record that after a lightning stroke a local power grid in Belgium, one of their data centres had its data wiped from discs. In case you are thinking it was a random occurrence, the centre has experienced this sort of data loss four times.
Loss of Data Among Firms
According to an online statement released by Google, there was permanent damage of data on 0.000001% of its disk space. The cause of this was attributed to susceptibility of some storage systems. This susceptibility was as a result of previous battery drain of these storage systems, repeatedly. Even with their installed auxiliary systems which were put in place to help restore power quickly, this could not do much to prevent the data loss.
The search engine giants are not alone in this as Barclays had to pay for their loss. In July of this year, the company lost a USB stick containing personal data of its customers from as far back as 2008. To this effect, Barclays had to pay compensation to 2,000 of its affected customers. Another case was that of Ashley Madison when customer data was stolen by hackers who later posted the data online.
Reasons of Data Loss
In a recent survey conducted by Crown Records Management involving companies with over 200 employees, important data lost was reported to have been lost more than three times in a third of its IT decision makers.
The survey further revealed that while data breach was observed by a quarter of the respondents in the past, two-thirds admitting to know at least an individual whose system had been hacked, and a third of respondents knew of cases where important information was accidentally not stored properly.
Protecting Your Business
In addition to this, the business development manager at Crown Records Management, Ann Sellar, believes that every UK businesses should be on the alert at the possibility of losing data now, more than ever before. These businesses should not only act quickly because of the fines usually attached to such data breaches but because it is now a growing knowledge worldwide; this could be bad for the business reputation.
In the business world, every sensible business owner knows too well that reputations that took several years, let’s say 20 years, could easily lose it in five minutes. This is very scary for any business oriented individual. Taking this to heart, it is important that businesses put an extra effort to understand more about data breaches and where they could arise from. Next thing would be to find the best possible way to protect its customer’s information from such data loss. This will help in strengthening trust. If this is not taken as seriously as it should, then data breaches will become a more common practice in the nearest future.
While the above figures may look terrifying, Ann Sellar admits it is not really surprising. This is because human error is attributed to about 80% of these data breaches.
To back this up, ViaSat unveiled more figures from its Freedom of Information (FoI) suggesting that there were several data losses not reported to ICO. While 67,677 thefts were reported with about 13,000 said to hold important information, only 1,089 were reported to the ICO.
Chris McIntosh, ViaSat UK CEO, sums it up when he suggested that the 13,000 figure should just be considered as a bare minimum. This is because not all police forces were willing to share information. Obviously this throws the figure way higher than this and goes to show that if something is not done quickly, more business data loss is inevitable in the nearest future.