Data loss reasons: it’s probably someone’s fault, rather than something (part 1/2)

05 July 2013 by Sam Wiltshire

top10-formatagainOperational mistakes and human error are two significant factors for a company to consider when thinking about data security. More than a quarter of all data loss can be traced back to employee error. Storage systems such as virtual servers and clouds, SAN (Storage Area Network) and NAS (Network Attached Storage) are becoming increasingly complex in order to cope with the increasing amount of data to be stored. IT administrators are under high pressure… and people make mistakes under pressure.

Here we have listed just a few of the most common:

Insufficient and incorrect documentation and security measures: if a test server is connected to the network or a SAN is switched off whilst it’s in operation, and a back-up hasn't been performed, data loss is inevitable.

Insufficient update policy: operating system and anti-virus software updates often get repeatedly postponed due to the high workload and the vulnerabilities that ensue can lead to data loss.

Insufficient backup policy: even if backups have been made, there is still an opportunity for data loss to occur if it turns out that this backup isn’t completely reliable.  Companies should establish comprehensive policies for backing up data and verify the integrity of the backups regularly.

Accidental deletion of data: This often occurs due to insufficient documentation. Administrators should double-check that data to be deleted is actually meant to be deleted before it’s too late.

Inadequate security measures: Employees with administrator access passwords should be as small a group as possible. Also, these passwords must be changed if one of said employees leaves the company: disgruntled ex-employees who are in possession of an active password can easily delete corporate data.

Our next post will contain tips on how these data loss causes can be avoided.