Loss of data is one of the reasons why a business may result in failure. Since businesses run on information, when data is lost or access those data are disrupted, the impact may threaten business operations.
According to Ontrack Data Recovery Findings, there are five causes of data loss:
- Human Error
- Computer Viruses
- Natural Disasters
- Hardware or System Problem
- Software Corruption or Program Problem
The above-mentioned root causes account for loss of revenue for businesses across different industries which are alarming especially for small business owners. The lack of disaster recovery plans may spell disaster and this is not uncommon for SMBs who typically do not have the budget and internal IT expertise compared to large enterprises. However, data protection should be one of the primary concerns in operating a business, no matter what size it is. There are various cost-effective methods which can reliably protect and recover information and it should be done while addressing each of the five causes previously mentioned.
Data Protection Tips
- Train your employees about the importance of data. Since human error tops the list with 27% in the Ontrack Data Recovery findings, small business owners would be remiss if there is no training provided to existing and potential employees which emphasizes on the sensitivity of information, the risks that are involved and what the management is doing to address the issue.
- Never ignore hardware failure or software corruption. Even the most conscientious business owner may overlook a simple hardware problem. Or a seemingly innocent file may end up erasing all your data, who knows? The point is, there should always be a backup copy of your files. Large enterprises have their own IT department to do this. Small businesses on the other hand do not. It would pay if you can make a backup of data on your own at least once every week and store it on disks, USBs or to a private/public cloud.
- Small businesses should bank on security products which combine features such as anti-virus, anti-malware and data loss prevention. Sure, it might be a little pricey for your liking but in the end it will all pay off. Shelling out a few dollars to ensure that your data is protected is better than the complete annihilation of your business due to data loss.
- Be cautious of data spills or data leakage. Theft is widespread and can be another cause of data loss. Data spills are done for the purpose of giving the information to a third party. It can be sold by a hacker, by an ex-employee and even by those who are still connected with your company. You have to come up with strict policies and procedures and ensure that all your employees understand what the consequences are. You may also want to give the information only to those employees who need to use it to fulfill their duties. This way, if the particular employee leaves the company, you can easily change passwords as an added security measure.
Small businesses should have a feasible, albeit economical, data protection policy in place because without it, you are risking the survival of your business.