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Human error still a leading cause of data loss in SME's, what can be done?

Posted on Sep 28, 2015.

A survey of more than 400 IT decision makers by Databarracks Data Health check report has revealed that human error is still a leading cause of data loss with 24% of organisations admitting to a data loss caused by an employee in the past 12 months.

This is higher than the 21% reporting data loss due to hardware failure and the 19% that had experienced data loss as a result of data corruption. 


Oscar Arean, technical operations manager at Databarracks, elaborated on the results:

“Human error has consistently been the biggest area of concern for organisations when it comes to data loss. People will always be your weakest link, but having said that, there is a lot that businesses could be doing to prevent it, so we’d expect this figure to be lower."

Further analysis shows that this figure can vary depending on business size. Large organisations with more complex infrastructure are more likely to have stringent user policies in place to limit the damage any one individual can cause. Data loss for an organisation like is is more likely as result of hardware failure as when their systems have grown to a level that is difficult to maintain.

Smaller and medium business can have an advantage here as their hardware systems can be easier to refresh. Adopting a big business ethos could be helpful to these businesses.

Three ways SME’s can protect their data at user level:

Locking down data in the companies CRM to be accessed only by specific employees. 

Implementing a regular data backup system

Adopting robust data security and management policies.

In smaller organisations the resources to put this into practice may not be available and employees may have a higher level or responsibilities in their role when managing valuable data. Situations like these call for an awareness of the value of the data and the potential risks along with a process in place to manage those risks.

Business Assessment

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