How to Prevent Data Loss

man looking upset at computer screen data loss

Data has become the backbone of businesses, and regardless of size, companies need to protect their data and prevent data loss. Preventing data loss from happening in the first place is often cheaper than trying to restore it or dealing with the consequences.

So what exactly is data loss, and how do you prevent it?

Read: Avoiding Data Loss, Recovery and Backup Problems

What is Data Loss

Data loss is usually the unintended and irreversible deletion, corruption, stealing or destruction of digital information. Data can include personally identifiable information (PII), financial documents, intellectual property (IP), employee records, client information and more.

Data loss can have severe repercussions such as financial loss, disrupted business operations and productivity, reputational damages and legal issues.
According toIBM’s 2023 Cost of a Data Breach Report, the global average data breach cost in 2023 was $4.45 million, a 15% increase over the last three years.

Causes of Data Loss

Identifying the cause of your data loss can be the first step in recovering files. Five possible situations can cause data loss:

  • Human error: With 74% of data breaches due to human element, human error is the most significant cause of data loss. The hard truth is that humans will make mistakes, whether from negligence, lack of attention, fatigue or lack of preparedness. A simple click of the wrong button can ruin data, so being aware is important. Human error can range from accidental deletion and overwriting files to sending data to the wrong person and spilling a drink on the workstation.
  • Hardware and software failure: For hardware, hard drives, solid-state drives and other data storage devices can fail due to mechanical issues, overheating, electrical problems, normal wear and tear, water or fire damage, exposure to magnetic fields, mishandling and improper connection. Obsolete devices can also be an issue. For software, malware and glitches can lead to data corruption.
  • Physical theft and cyber attacks: Physical theft of devices, particularly phones or laptops laden with data, and online cyber attacks, including phishing attempts, can lead to data breaches and unauthorized access.
  • Power outages: Sudden power outages or fluctuations can disrupt data storage and corrupt data; if a computer unexpectedly shuts down, data that isn’t saved properly can be lost forever.
  • Natural disasters: Lightning, fires, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes can physically damage your office space or storage devices, which can wipe out data.

Data Loss Preventative Measuresperson holding back tumbling blocks

Building a strong data loss prevention (DLP) process means finding the right blend of tools, techniques and technologies to protect data. These proactive measures can help minimize the risk of losing data while also meeting cybersecurity compliance and disaster recovery plan requirements.

  • Identify and classify data so your business can know what data needs protection and with what measures.
  • Back up data regularly and use multiple data backup solutions to ensure more opportunities to recover data. This can include the 3-2-1 rule and air gapping.
  • Install anti-virus and anti-malware software, as well as email filtering. Keep these software, along with hardware, applications and operating systems, up-to-date.
  • Never provide personal or professional information to unknown sources. Don’t open suspicious emails, messages or attachments.
  • Limit access to data to only people who need it, and encrypt data, no matter if it’s at rest or in transit.
  • Remove unnecessary apps and programs that might create vulnerabilities.
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi (rely on VPNs instead), and use firewalls.
  • Implement strong passwords and two-factor authentication.
  • Use surge protectors, SIEM tools and anti-theft equipment.

Once you utilize one – or preferably all – of these measures, train your staff on data protection best practices and cyber attacks. Regularly test your systems to find vulnerabilities that could lead to data loss.

Thriveon and Data Loss

Don’t learn about preventing data loss the hard way – start implementing policies today.

If what we have described sounds like a lot to undertake, don’t fret. Thriveon can help protect your data with our proactive managed IT services.

We can help you manage your data while meeting cybersecurity compliance.

Schedule a meeting with us today to start protecting your data.

Cybersecurity Checklist

Over 60% of businesses go out of business within six months of a cyber attack. Don’t let this happen to you. Ensure your employee and customer data is safe, and click below to get the cybersecurity checklist.



Subscribe to our email updates


Subscribe to our email updates