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Last April nerdy internet forums everywhere got delightfully primordial after a man created a post declaring he had accidentally deleted all of his data. With one single line of code, this man managed to wipe his entire database completely clean – backups included.
The man, also known as Mr. Marsala, expressed interest in correcting the action, asking technical enthusiasts to help him pick up the pieces of his broken business. But, unfortunately, all he received was utter annoyance and disgust.
“You’re going out of business. You don’t need technical advice, you need to call your lawyer.”
“I feel sorry to say that your company is now essentially dead.”
“Well, you should have been thinking about how to protect your customers’ data before nuking them.”
However, a few days later, news surfaced that the whole thing was a marketing stunt envisioned and implemented by Marsala and his Italian-based server management company. When the internet forum learned of the stunt, they were angered and quickly deleted the question – leaving only the responses to the man’s post, as well as a redirect to a similar question posed a few years earlier.
Although this particular incident was a hoax, the line of code Marsala referred to in his post is a real thing – which is why the internet forum was able to redirect users to a former post on the subject and which is also why we will not disclose this line of code to you. In fact, an interview with the internet troll himself uncovered that a former client of his had actually undergone the fate of forced data delete. And while Marsala’s post indicated that all of his data was deleted – backups included – this isn’t typically the case with data loss.
When data loss occurs, it usually doesn’t affect your offsite backups – which is the whole point of backing up your data. The more backed up you are, the more prepared you are to face a catastrophic data loss. And the more prepared you are, the less likely you are to lose your business to the horribly negative consequences of data loss. Here are just a few of the dismal drawbacks of significant data loss.
If you ever experience data loss, you better believe your professional reputation will go down the drain – maybe not all the way down, but it’ll definitely get stuck in there somewhere. Your business will forever be tied to data loss. Just look at Target. To this day, people still discuss the colossal data breach that played out in 2013, and many are still incredibly apprehensive to shop there. It’s probably not such a good thing to know that your customers are worried to do business with you.
Once a data breach victim, always a data breach victim. With your stained reputation, will inherently come a loss of trust. People simply won’t have faith in you and your ability to protect their personal data. How many consumers do you think chose to shop at Wal-Mart after the Target data breach? Probably quite a few. And some are probably still shopping at Wal-Mart.
After a breach, your data might become inaccessible – corrupted, wiped clean, or locked. How can you maintain a normal level of operations if you can’t get to your data? Imagine what it would be like to contact your clients without their contact information or what it would be like to input daily records if you have nowhere to input them. It’d be pretty difficult. Nearly impossible.
The cost of data loss is probably the worst consequence of a data breach. Why? Because the expenses will never stop coming. Just when you think everything is said and done, something else will pop up to bite you in the butt. The downtime, the reputation-building, the data repair (if possible), the fines, the loss of clients angered by the event – all of these things will cost you money. Some businesses simply cannot afford all of this, which is why many don’t make it out of a data breach alive.
Depending on what industry you’re in, the government scrutiny can be painful but still manageable, or it can feel like you’re stuck in a permanent chokehold. This is especially true for anyone in the medical or legal fields. You are held to higher standards, and as a result, if your business suffers from significant data loss, government regulators will probably enjoy burning your business down to the ground.
So what’s the moral of the story here? Back up your data in multiple places. All the time. No matter what.