Using widespread surveys, Acronis regularly records how individuals and companies handle their digital data. The picture they paint is not particularly rosy; neglecting data backups tends to be the rule rather than the exception for both user groups. In the most recent survey fully 68% of private users admitted that they have lost data due to missing or defective backups. And for companies which you would assume would be highly aware of the need for scrupulous data protection measures, it was an astounding 42%.
10% of all surveyed end users and companies even come under the category of backup refusenik. Who knows the reasons for this astounding trust in the indestructibility of their data – the main reason is highly likely to be that those responsible are not really aware of where the risks to the integrity of personal and business data actually hide. If they were actually aware of the following “hot list” of the most frequent reasons for losing data, the creation of constantly up-to-date, complete and malware-free backups would certainly have a different priority:
Reason 1: Human failure
Faced with numerous daily data entries, edits as well as updates to existing and the creation of new documents, numerous copying processes and intended deletions, considering how fragile human nature is, it is not surprising that mistakes occur. A brief lack of concentration and the Excel file that took ages to produce has been lost forever. A careless movement and your coffee does not remove your tiredness but rather hundreds of gigabytes of irreplaceable data. Both happen thousands of times a day in homes and offices across Germany.
Reason 2: Theft
Whereas the theft of desktop computers tends to be a statistical exception, laptops are removed at an alarming rate. The data the devices contain is almost always significantly more valuable than the hardware itself. But even if the device is apparently secure and remains in the hands of the owner, hacking and malware – see point four – cause innumerable cases of data loss and millions in damage.
Reason 3: Incorrect software operation
All programs, no matter how mature, can crash. This results in data loss or damage. Software errors can compromise the updates and storage of files, whole files are lost when converting to another format or in the case of antivirus solutions lead to the unintended deletion of files incorrectly identified as malware.
Reason 4: Virus software
Viruses not only steal, damage, encrypt or delete irreplaceable data. They can also infiltrate the network or a whole organisation and adversely affect the function of computer hardware. Ransomware blocks access to data and only releases it on payment of a ransom. Ever more sophisticated phishing attacks trick their way into accessing passwords and login data, with devastating consequences.
Reason 5: Hardware damage
Hard drives and SSDs are true miracles of technology, but are exposed to a range of natural enemies of which the coffee stated above is only one: overheating, contact with liquids, fire, power failures, improper handling, firmware damage, age-related incorrect functioning of the read/write head and other hardware components – the list of potential hazard sources is long.
Reason 6: Power failure
Sudden power drop-outs and voltage variations are thankfully not part of daily life but if they occur can sometimes result in massive damage to hardware and operating systems with the corresponding consequences for the data contained on the affected devices.
Reason 7: Natural disasters
Even if the devastating consequences of the flooding disaster in Ahrtal are still firmly etched in our memories – the risks arising from storms, earthquakes, floods etc. tend to be low at our latitudes. But we also mention this for the sake of completeness.
Seven sources of risk, one solution
Faced with this number and range of potential threats, you could be tempted to use several solutions to protect your valuable data. Such a patchwork solution would however be associated with high costs and potentially gaps in the defence. Fortunately there is a much easier solution: Acronis Cyber Protect combines powerful backup, data protection and cyber-security functions into a powerful integrated solution that can be managed intuitively and simply via a central user interface that should remove the arguments of even the last backup refusenik for their actions.