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5 Ways Your Data is at Risk in 2020

picture of hard drive
Photo by Patrick Lindenberg on Unsplash

 

You might be thinking, "it won't happen to me."  Well, we certainly hope it doesn't.  However, denying the risk does not mean it is not there.  If you have a mortgage on your house, then you probably have home insurance.  Why would you protect your home but not your business? This post describes 5 ways your data is at risk in 2020 and how cloud backups are the answer to those very risks.

 

1. Fires and Natural Disasters

If your data is stored solely on your computer's hard drive and not in the cloud, then your data has the same risk that your home or office has.  Fires can happen for a variety of reasons and natural disasters can come in many forms.  For example, our office is located in Tupelo, Mississippi where our biggest concern is tornadoes.

A good backup does not prevent your equipment or belongings from being destroyed but it does offer you the peace of mind that the data will be protected and can be retrieved.  

 

2. Accidental Deletion

I mention accidental deletion because we do make mistakes.  I have done this and I have worked with clients that have done this. 

Imagine, your hard drive has started to fill up, and you're in the cleaning mood.  You start going through the folders on your computer and you're seeing files that are old — maybe even several years old.  You're thinking, "I don't need these old files," then you start deleting.  You shut down and feel good about the progress you've made.  A while later you start looking for a certain file when you remember it was in the old folder which you deleted. 

Accidental deletions do happen, but if you have backups you can retrieve those files.

 

3. Windows Update Malfunction /
OS Corruption

I started not to mention the Windows Update portion because I don't want you to be hesitant about applying your Windows Updates.  I feel the positives of applying your Windows Updates outweigh the risk of not applying the updates. 

However, I mention it because updates are released each month from Microsoft if you are running a supported operating system.  I have had experiences where a computer could no longer boot into Windows and needed to be factory restored.   One instance was with a personal computer and our client did not have a backup of their files.  The client was fine with just getting the computer running again with the loss of the data, but what if this was your business computer?  It might be possible to pay for extreme measures to get your data back but it would not be as easy as just restoring your data from a backup.

 

4. Hard Drive Failure

Hard drive failures do happen.  Everything is running fine one day and the next you come into work and your computer won't boot.  Your computer just sits on a black screen with a message similar to "Hard drive cannot be found."  This could be an indication that the hard drive has failed.  Your heart sinks as you think of the time you put into the file you were working on the day before... then you remember you have a backup.  

 

5. Malicious / Ransomware

I believe this item poses the most risk to your data in 2020.  I combined malicious intent and ransomware but it really can be two distinct scenarios. 

Malicious intent could mean an insider, possibly a disgruntled employee, intentionally deletes targeted company data.  No matter the reason, if someone has access to your data and has malicious intent, your data is at risk.

The higher risk is ransomware.  (read: Ransomware Situation Goes From Bad to Worse)  The attacker definitely has malicious intent but usually, your company is not a specified target.  They just put it out to the masses and hope to catch any business.  The attack could come in through an email attachment or placed somewhere on website available for download.  The attack usually involves the virus scanning through your computer and encrypting all your data files but leaving your Windows system operational.  You can still boot and load programs but cannot access your data files without paying a ransom.   If you have a backup of all your data files,  you can just delete all the encrypted files, clean your system from the infection and restore your data.  If you don't have a backup, you can either pay the ransom (not recommended) or lose your data. 

 

What Next?

Each of these items proves to be a risk factor of varying degrees.  However, all of the items combine together to add a risk for your business' data that cannot be ignored.  We don't offer data protection insurance — but we do offer data protection through cloud backups.

 

Are You Prepared

 

About the author

Scott Chase

Scott Chase

Scott began his career in IT after graduating from Mississippi State University in 1994 as a Computer Engineer.  After many years of supporting users and writing and maintaining software, Scott formed Chase Computer Services in 2005.

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