Hard disk drive (HDD) crashes more than doubled in the last four years and are listed as the most common cause of data loss, according to a survey from backup software developer Kroll Ontrack conducted among its customers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.
Among those businesses, 15 percent admit to losing personal data from their business machine, contrasted with 7 percent who acknowledged losing business-related data from their home machine.
More than one-quarter (27 percent) said their most recent loss disrupted a business process, such as prohibiting them or their company from actually providing a product or service to their customers.
Notebook and PC crashes were the leading cause of data loss among both businesses (71 percent) and home users (72 percent), and solid state drive (SSD) device loss ranked second, accounting for 18 percent of data loss cases for home users and 10 percent for businesses.
"As data storage evolves, so do the numbers of places we store it," Todd Johnson, vice president of data recovery operations for Kroll Ontrack, said in a statement. "Therefore, it isn’t surprising that critical business data is at stake among both company-owned and personal devices. Since data is key to how we function in both worlds, accessibility is critical."
When asked about the causes of their most-recent data losses, 66 percent (compared to 29 percent in 2010) of 1,066 surveyed customers cited a hardware crash or failure.
Fourteen percent claimed human error (compared to 27 percent in 2010). Software failure ranked as the third most common cause of data loss with 6 percent.
"Storage media fails regardless of type; it is just a matter of when. This fact, coupled with the fact that HDDs are still the most prevalent drive is why HDD crashes have and continue to be the most common cause of data loss," Jeff Pederson, manager of data recovery operations for Kroll Ontrack, said in a statement. "To avoid such a failure, one should regularly defrag their computer, check its storage capacity, and run antivirus software as well as hard drive monitoring software. Beyond good health practices, businesses and home users should have working redundancies, such as a backup device or service in place, and a continuity plan that is current and accessible in the event of a loss."
The vast majority (72 percent) of those surveyed noted that their most recent data loss came from a desktop or notebook hard drive, followed by SSD (15 percent) and RAID/virtual services (13 percent), indicating data loss impacts every type of storage, from consumer devices all the way up to enterprise-level infrastructure.