What is data loss and what are its most common causes?

There are many causes of data loss that can disrupt a company's performance. Here, we highlight a few of the most common forms of data loss…

Rob Stevens


Today, data is the most valuable asset any business can have.

Collect the right data, and you’ll be able to make more informed decisions about your company’s future, adjust your customer service strategies, and even improve the performance of your products. However, there’s more to having a successful data strategy than simply knowing how to gather and store information.

Today’s businesses need to be aware of the constant threat of data loss and what it could mean to their organisation. Data loss is the term used to refer to the unintentional or intentional loss of information, caused by processes or people inside or outside of a company. Whenever you end up losing data that you need, that’s data loss.

Unfortunately, there are many causes of data loss that can disrupt a company’s performance, ranging all the way from human accidents, to deliberate attacks from cybercriminals. The only way to truly protect yourself in the data-driven age is to make sure that you have a system in place to back-up and defend your information.

What are the common causes of data loss?

The most common causes of data loss can differ according to the industry that you’re in. Some companies are more concerned about protecting their information against outside attacks. Other organisations find that the biggest threats to their data come from inside their own company. After all, employees can accidentally delete or misplace data without meaning to.

The impact of losing data can also differ depending on the nature of the information. For instance, you know that losing critical business data is bad for your company. However, if you were to lose private customer information to an attack, then you could also jeopardise your standing with compliance regulations too.

Here are some of the most common causes of data loss you need to be aware of:

1.      Employees accidentally deleting files

You might think that your employees are the last thing you need to worry about when it comes to protecting your data. However, even the best staff members can make mistakes when they’re rushed or overworked. Plenty of workers have accidentally deleted content or information in the past, only to realise later that they’ve left their company in a sticky situation.

The best way to protect yourself against this issue is to make sure that you have the right workflow and backup procedures in place. If your team is constantly backing up the information that they work with, one deleted file will be easy enough to retrieve.

2.      Viruses and malware

Sometimes, the causes of data loss aren’t as innocent as an employee accidentally hitting delete on the wrong file. There are plenty of criminals out there who design malware and viruses to deliberately damage company data. If one of these criminals manages to infiltrate your network, then you could be exposed to countless sources of data loss. Some cyber criminals have even begun to create “ransomware” – a kind of software that allows them to collect critical data from a company’s system. These criminals can then offer to give you access back to your data in exchange for a hefty fee.

While cybercriminals are always working on developing stronger and more dangerous ways to hack into company networks, you can take steps to protect yourself. Reach out to Nice Network today to find out what kind of security systems you can put in place to give your business some peace of mind.

3.      Broken hardware

Many companies still rely on hardware and hard backups of their data to protect them from data loss. However, the truth is that hard drives and data servers can be extremely fragile pieces of equipment. If something unexpected were to happen in your company, like a flood or a fire, then you would risk losing vast amounts of information instantly.

The easiest way to protect yourself against the risk of broken hardware is to make sure that you have another way to backup and store your data too. Storing information on the cloud ensures that it will always be available to access – even if something goes wrong with your computer or hard drives.

4.      Lost or broken devices

Finally, there’s always a risk that you could lose, or break a device that’s packed full of useful information and data that your company relies on. This is particularly true in the age of mobile computing, where countless employees use their mobile devices and smartphones to get work done on the go.

A mobile device management solution can help to give you some protection against the common causes of data loss. With an MDM strategy, you can set up two-factor authentication to protect data on mobile devices that are lost or stolen. Additionally, you can access tools remotely, wipe sensitive information, and back crucial data up to the cloud too.

Don’t let data loss damage your business.