Digital security breaches cost large and small businesses financially and often lead to a loss of clients or customers. One of the most impactful breaches a business or company can experience is data loss. Lost or compromised data can cost businesses time, money, and consumer confidence. Utilizing security features, like a VPN, can prevent a lot of problems that many companies face.
Data losses can come in the form of corrupted files, deleted information, or stolen data. All these scenarios lead to business disruption, and consequences range from simple delays to a mass exodus of clientele.
A minor data loss can create delays in productivity and be costly, as resources are required to recover or recreate the lost files. In cases of complete data loss, where files cannot be recovered, it can be quite difficult to return to business as usual.
In the worst instances, data losses contain sensitive information and clients, or customers need to be notified. In addition to the financial impacts of such a breach, the loss of consumer trust is devastating to a business of any size.
Let’s examine how these losses occur and how you can prevent them.
How Does Data Loss Occur?
Data loss occurs in myriad ways. There are countless risks the secure nature of your business data poses and any one of them can cause a loss. In any case, a single data loss can be catastrophic. Here are a few typical causes of data loss.
1. The Human Element
According to research, some form of human error causes nearly 15 percent of data losses. Most businesses rely on employees to take proper precautions when handling valuable forms of data. Unfortunately, mistakes do happen. Training all staff on safety protocols and preventative measures can help to avoid data loss. Automating data protection processes, like automatic system backups, can also remove the possibility of an error.
2. The Loss of Power
Power outages can be devastating to important business data. An unannounced loss of power can lead to inappropriate computer shutdowns, which can negatively impact data in many ways. Data going unsaved, file corruption, and hard drive failure are all results of an unexpected power outage. Frequent backups and power failure protections, such as surge protectors, can help secure your business and its data from the dangers of a sudden loss of power.
3. Hard Drive Failure
One of the most common threats to data is hard drive failure. While not all data is necessarily lost upon such failure, file recovery can be complicated and costly. In some cases, a failed hard drive corrupts every file on it, and the data stored there is irrecoverable.
Protecting hard drives from failure can be as simple as routine maintenance, including removing build ups of dust and debris from around computers. Regularly backing up data is vital, as lost information can be located at another source. Solid state drives (SSDs) are becoming more popular due to their durability and low likelihood of failure.
Data Loss Due to Security Breaches
While any data loss is costly and can lead to a loss of consumer confidence, none is more devastating than a loss of data due to a security breach. At times, data is simply deleted or rendered useless. However, in most cases of security breaches, data is used to hold a company hostage for ransom or to defraud consumers.
A data loss due to a lack of security is often followed by a dramatic loss of business and, in turn, the eventual closing of doors. And these can be fatal to a company. While viruses and malware are now rampant, it is possible to secure your data from those with ill intentions.
Unfortunately, phishing scams are far too successful, leaving your data vulnerable to attack. Anti-virus software can help prevent a malicious attack, even if an employee unwittingly clicks on a dangerous link. Anti-virus and anti-malware software should be updated regularly to ensure protections are up-to-date.
As is the case with all data loss, even a malicious virus can be rendered unsuccessful by ensuring you regularly back up all your valuable data. This can ensure information is recoverable after an attack that destroys files.
Use a VPN to Protect Data Transmissions
Using a virtual private network (VPN) should be a requirement for any device accessing sensitive business data. Many businesses have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy in place, allowing employees to use their personal devices (like their Android mobile phone) for business purposes. While this can be convenient for employees, it can become a nightmare for data security.
If employees connect to unsecured networks, like Wi-Fi at a local café, all information being transmitted from the connected device is rendered accessible. However, by using a VPN service on these mobile devices, data can be transmitted with a reasonable sense of security because a VPN encrypts it.
Likewise, a VPN can be used for desktop computers in the office. A VPN can prevent hackers from intercepting data as it leaves your office and heads off to a server elsewhere. A VPN can also protect data being sent from office to office for businesses with multiple locations. The VPN provides a protected, encrypted pathway that can keep your data safe in transit.
Other than desktop, VPN is an excellent tool for protecting mobile devices, both Android and iOS, employees use for business. nordvpn application is one of the most popular VPNs among Android devices.
Protect Data to Ensure Consumer Confidence
The loss or theft of data can lead to the demise of even the largest companies. The threat to small businesses is just as complex as it is to the bigger corporations. Data protection should be at the forefront of a business owner’s mind. Finding ways to strategically protect data both in and out of the office is key to maintaining consumer confidence.