There have been a number of times when big companies lost a lot of data, with disastrous results. Check out the top times data was lost below, and prevent data loss at your company. These stories are gathered from past blog posts from Krebs on Security—we highly recommend this security-focused blog for the latest on viruses and security breaches affecting the public.
Here are five examples of famous data losses that could have been prevented:
Sidekick Data Loss
In 2009, Microsoft purchased a phone company called Danger, Inc., best known for producing the Sidekick phone. When Microsoft took over the servers holding data for Sidekick phones, the servers went down. Microsoft was unable to bring the data back quickly. For about 2 weeks, Sidekick users had all their information wiped from their phones. This caused some widespread panic, as cloud computing and storage was still a relatively new concept, and this incident didn’t help people trust it. The information was eventually restored and customers were compensated, but the damage had been done and the Sidekick was no longer a popular phone choice.
Dreamhost Loses Websites
In 2007, the web hosting company Dreamhost found a bug in its code that caused thousands of websites and FTP accounts to lose data. Some domains were deleted entirely, while others were lost for a significant amount of time before being recovered. Eventually, the problem was traced to a bug that could have been avoided if the system had been updated on time. Many Dreamhost customers were unhappy with this loss, and Dreamhost had to publicly take responsibility for this problem.
British Home Office Loses Prisoner Data
In 2008, a memory stick was lost from the British Home Office. This memory stick contained confidential information about all prisoners in England and Wales. The information included home addresses of former or house arrest prisoners—making them a target for anyone seeking retribution. The Home Office cancelled their contract with the firm responsible, PA Consulting Group. The information on the memory stick was unencrypted, making this a PR disaster for all involved. This is a prime example of why secure storage is needed—if the information had been kept on a server instead of a memory stick, it would have been much harder for potential hackers to reach.
Ma.gnolia Loses Everything
The social bookmarking website Ma.gnolia seemed to have a strong business model and a great service. However, in 2009, its servers went down. Its backup servers also went down. Every piece of data that Ma.gnolia had stored for their users was lost. When the team managed to get to the data again, it was corrupted and completely lost. The company attempted to relaunch themselves in late 2009 as simply Gnolia, but they only managed to last another year before shutting down entirely. This could have been avoided if they had a secure recovery plan in place.
Toy Story 2 Almost Doesn’t Get Made
In 1998, Pixar was hard at work on Toy Story 2 when one employee entered a line of code into the system. The code was meant to delete a few files, but accidentally began to delete everything. The damage was only stopped when the main server was physically unplugged. The team at Pixar then did the next logical step and grabbed their backup to restore the data. Unfortunately, the backups hadn’t been tested, and the employees only learned in this crucial moment that the backup system had failed.
Luckily, this story has a happy ending. One Pixar employee had been working from home to care for a newborn. Her computer was brought to Pixar, and the movie was able to keep going thanks to sheer luck.
How to avoid your famous data loss
You can’t rely on luck to ensure your company’s data remains secure and properly stored. Instead, rely on secure storage solutions with the ability to bring back data to any point in time, as well as encrypted and secure storage.
Does this sound too good to be true? Well, storage and backup technology has advanced significantly in the past year. To learn about the recent changes in storage, please download the eBook titled "Essentials When Upgrading A Storage Solution" to learn more.
Do you need immediate advice when looking for a new or to upgrade your storage solution, then please give us a chance by reaching out to Core Evolution Group.