Why are small businesses an easy target for data loss

What is data loss and how does it happen?

Let’s say that you have just stayed up all night to prepare a final report to give to the executive board. You are so proud of this report and can’t wait to show the progress your team has made. Right before you hit the save button, your computer gives you the blue screen of death. What do you do? You were about to put it in the cloud but did not. Unfortunately, you took a risk and lost a lot of hard work. The same thing can happen with data loss. In fact, data loss is in itself a business risk.

There are many reasons for data loss to occur. However, first we should start by understanding data loss in information technology. Essentially, anytime that data is not captured or is captured and subsequently lost, data loss occurs. You should have a plan in place to have backup storage or the ability to recover data in the event of a loss. There could be intentional or unintentional actions that cause data to be lost. Regardless, in all cases, you could find a need to attempt to restore this data.

Common data loss causes

Now we will look at some reasons for data loss to occur. There are four main categories for data loss. These are human error, electronic or business failure, natural disaster, or hacking and theft.

Human error

Accidental Deletion: This could occur through deletion of a file or changing a file significantly without saving it to a new name. A strategy to establish to prevent this from occurring is to limit permissions to delete certain files. However, it can still occur.

Improper Saving Protocols: There are ways to save files or documents that make them near impossible to open. This occurs by saving files to the wrong format.

Electronic or business failure

Power Failure: Even if you constantly backup and save your documents, it is possible that a power failure occurs before the data has a chance to be saved.

Hardware Failure: For extremely large files, they may need to be stored externally. It is possible for hard drives to become corrupted or crash. This prevents retrieval of data.

Software Failure: Software can get bugs, freeze, or crash that also cause data loss by not saving properly.

Business Failure: Many businesses now use products like Software as a Service. It is possible that these companies would go out of business without sufficient protections in place to protect the data they were storing.


Natural Disaster: Anyone who has watched the news in the past decade has seen the devastation that natural disaster can bring to data and businesses. Even if you are careful with everything else, you cannot predict or change the weather and its’ consequences.

Fire: Whether a fire is intentional or unintentional, it can wreak havoc on your physical storage solutions. Even if you have an insurance plan in place to replace what has been physically lost, this does nothing for recovering the data lost on those devices.

Hacking and theft

Theft: This is less common, but physical theft means that you now have no idea where your important data went to.

Hacking: Hacks like the Fancy Bear group can penetrate systems and steal your valuable and confidential data. 

Virus: This is where a cloud-based system alone is not the best solution. Even with the best security and risk management, it could become compromised.

Anyone who has experienced data loss in any form knows the importance of backing up data. However, this can be an expensive and time-consuming process. This is where a managed service provider can help.

How can a Managed Service Provider (MSP) help with data recovery?

An MSP that offsite runs all of the systems and information technology processes for a company can provide instrumental in recovering lost data. The MSP can provide backup options for recovering lost or stolen data. They can also add security layers and proactively monitor systems for potential crashes or data loss. In addition, constant monitoring helps to alert to malicious acts and minimize the damage that would occur.

An MSP, thus, helps up front with making sure your company’s data is as safe and secure as possible. They complement this service with backend support that helps with data recovery in the event of an intentional or unintentional act. We all know how damaging downtime is to customers and to your bottom line. Using an MSP that keeps data safe and secure, and can recover data quickly, is invaluable. It should be a part of any sound business strategy.