Data Loss

Note: Rough content, information contained in the page are notes taken in class without any real refining.

1.1.11, causes of data loss:

Causes include:
  1. Malicious activity which may be the result of activities by employees within the organization or by intruders/hackers.
  2. Natural disasters.
  3. Physical damage to the storage device.
And others...

1.1.12, consequences of data loss:

Outline the consequence of data loss in a specified situation: such as loss of medical records, cancellation of flight, loss of grading result etc...

Medical Records
Medical records are very important in order to treat patients correctly. A Hospital, for example, stores a medical record for every patient. These include information about his or her disease and treatment. If this information is lost, doctors and especially nurses will not exactly know what medecine should be given to the patient. This could kill the patient!

Hospitals often have a calenders which are used to assign nurses and doctors to specific stations to specifc times. If there is data loss, it could happen that a station does not have a doctor assigned and the patient will not receive treatment. When a patient needs an organ he will be put on a list and often needs to wait for an organ. Through data loss or a data mix up caused by data corruption it could happen that the list is switched arround so that a patient who waited for years gets pushed back even further.

Student Grades
Data loss for students often come in form of lost documents through usb sticks or broken hard drives. If a student looses their work they either have to hand it in late which might affect their grade in organization, or if it does not get accepted, a 0 mark on their grade. This might have long lasting effects for example on their end of year grade. A single assignment in higher levels of the school can already make large differences. For something as simple as Data Backup you should not risk your grade. It literally only takes seconds to do!

Government Agencies:
There are numerous consequences if a government agency experiences data loss. As the data is lost, the information stored can not be retrieved, which means that documentation of evidence is no longer existent. For example, if an intelligence agency lost evidence, in front of court they would have no valid proof helping the judge decide in the name of justice. Furthermore, data lost in terms of tax payments could lead to the loss of overview about who payed taxes. If data is lost by the government, punctual monthly payments in terms of rent would not be made. Salaries of staff could also not be payed on time. Another example is that important notifications could not be sent out, thus, the messages could not meet the recipient in time. The traffic of data would come to halt. The recollection of data would take a long time. Last but not least, the loss of data leaves a very negative impression of the agency, creating a bad reputation.

If the data is lost, important tasks would be stopped and evidence lost. If the data is stolen, is could be misused by the intruder. Sensitive data could be stolen imposing a threat to the individuals.

Banking Information:
If sensitive data like bank information is lost, chaos can break out. Customers could not perform basic tasks like withdrawing money from ATMs, as data about how much money is in their account would be lost. Banking would be halted and collection of the data from customers documents would take a long time. This would cause customers to loose trust in the bank, causing them to switch. The consequence of this would be a reduction in the business of the bank. In addition, the payment of staff on time could not be made.

If the data is purely lost, then banking will come to halt and it will take a long time to collect the data from customers back. However, if the data is stolen, there is a severe security breach, as the information is sensitive (includes your name, birth data, etc.) and social engineering could take place.

Employee Records:
Employee records are not as important as for example bank or government records. In Germany there are no big records about the employees. Only the most common information like the name and birthday are recoreded. Bigger companies may have records on when and how long anemployee worked. Loss of such data could lead to some problematics because it is unclear for how many hours of work they will be payed, etc., but mostly there is a easy solution to it. Medical files arnt stored by the employer. If files get lost there are always backups because the most important information is saved by oficcials: if data is lost by the employer then the employer goes to the officials and asks for the lost data. The only igger problem is that if personal data about the employees are stolen, then this could lead to legal problems, because the employer needs to keep this data safe, but this is relative as well, because employers arnt allowed to have more then the needed personal information about their empoyees.

1.1.13, Methods to prevent data loss:

  1. Offsite storage with independent power.
  2. Online storage such as cloud storage.
  3. Making backups on removable media such as USBs and Hard drives.
  4. Storage system with redundancy; Identical storage or virtual server to replace the original until it can get back on.
  5. Fail over systems:
Illustration of a network fail over system:
Failover system Network.png
Illustration of a server fail over system:
Failover system server.png

Created By: D3LTA
Last update:08/11/12