Are your Employees your Biggest Data Loss Risk?

December 9th, 2011 - Category - IT Blog

Take a look, a good hard look, at your employees. They are working diligently, right? You’ve staffed the company with some quality A-players and everyone has taken responsibility for their work. You see good communication, organization, and dare we say motivation emanating from each member of your well-armed team. Or maybe you don’t and the company is working on improving that – we understand. We also understand that while an employee might be a rockstar at their job, they could still pose a risk to IT.

Your sales team might be able to sell seawater to a sailor, your PR person might have everyone’s birthday, company anniversary and collected vacation time memorized, and the entire staff in general keeps things running like clockwork, but that doesn’t mean they are exempt from a little thing we call ‘user error.’

You see, everyone makes mistakes, and while someone might be incredible at their job, perhaps they aren’t so good at, say, understanding how file structures work or the difference between saving a file locally or on the server. That’s where good IT training comes in, but it takes time. A big part of being in IT is coming to the harsh realization that this stuff isn’t second-nature to everybody. We see extremely intelligent people make seemingly simple computer-related blunders that can result in data loss (or data overwrite in many cases). As you know, data loss is pretty serious for businesses. If it’s a file you can rebuild, like a template or internal document, you basically need to put all of the time in again, and if it is client information then you need to go through the embarrassing process of recapturing that data (and that’s if you are lucky, your leads database likely won’t replenish itself).

There are many types of user-errors that result in data loss. Here are a few:

  • Saving over important files (Data overwrite)
    • While trying to extract a common template from a pre-existing document
    • While working with the original template file
  • Saving in the Wrong Location
    • Storing data on the local workstation instead of the server – it’s much harder to track down files if the employee leaves and workstation issues could result in the loss of data as well.
    • Saving important documents in temporary or scratch locations.
  • Accidently cutting or deleting files
  • Loss or corruption from application-specific user-error
  • And many more

Some of these errors can be reduced by employee training, especially issues that involve storing files in the wrong location or best practices when working with Microsoft Office templates. Of course, if your files stored on the server aren’t properly backed up (with the ability to roll back to older versions of the file) then you still run a lot of risk.

All businesses of all sizes need to have a good, reliable backup solution that not only grants you redundant data but also the ability to roll back to previous snapshots of specific files and directories. If restoring from a backup is a long, arduous process, you end up spending a lot of time and money to restore your files. It needs to be simple, fast, effective, and easy to restore from. If you don’t feel comfortable with your current backup then it is time to evaluate it.

If you want to prevent user-error data loss, contact us at 020 7101 0544 whether you need assistance organizing your file structures, educating employees, or establishing a bullet-proof backup system to rely on in the event of a disaster.

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