Beware of Human Error!

Reliance on the technology for business transactions and data maintenance is turning into a curse for small-and-medium sized businesses, as indicated by a research conducted by Hewlett-Packard. According to the research 70% of these businesses had to be shut down within a year due to Data Loss. However, research suggests that one-third of these disruptions were a result of human error.

Data loss might not ostensibly seem like such a big issue so as to result into complete shut down of businesses, but with immense competition in the market, identity theft definitely leads to mistrust among the customers. Quoting a pertinent incident, where the Bank of Scotland was blamed of data loss due to human error. It was reported that an unencrypted disc was lost on its way when it was posted via ordinary postal service. Now this incident indicates human error and ignorance at several levels. Firstly, making the blunder of not encrypting the disc and secondly, not sending it via secure postal service.

Thus if they would have been sensible enough earlier, they wouldn’t have been knocked of being at an identity theft risk by keeping the highly valuable information of 62,000 customers at stake. Another such incident was accounted by BBC, reporting the loss of a memory disc by a Health trust, which was a blue-chip as it contained 6,360 prisoner records. Though this disc was encrypted but it had a note with the password on it at the time when it was misplaced. In that case the rational choice for any customer would thereof be the alternate company that they can at-least trust.

Loss of revenues as well as loss of customers is the most apparent consequence of data loss as observed by a research. The research indicates 8 percent loss of revenues and an extra cost of $73 per customer record as reported by businesses. This upshot is further reflected in the statement of Jim Hurley, managing director of IT policy reliance groups: “ Failing to protect IT security and regulatory audit data is like a bank giving away the combination to the vault. Instead of securities and cash, these firms are putting sensitive data, customers, revenues and business futures entirely at risk.”

Evident from different incidents and reports is how small human errors can turn into big security breaches, causing closure of businesses. Thus prevention is better than taking measures to deter such breaches later on. High on the priority list is the training of the personnel on handling on-line information and systemizing the process. Backing up of data should be made a compulsion on all staff members, and corporate culture should be innovated in such a way that data devices should be handled with as much care as that taken for handling cash and finances.

However, these precautionary measures aren’t just confined to business dealings. In fact, human errors while dealing with digital devices like Laptops, iPads or even Desktops should be minimized in the daily life as well. We usually come across with minor loss of data like inaccessibility to some files or accidentally overwriting some files. Thus conclusively, technology should always be dealt with patience, and people should try to train themselves at a personal level by developing an understanding of IT devices as well; only then can this trend be replicated at workplaces as well.

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