Types of Disasters that Damage Data When most people think of disaster recovery, they think of natural disasters like hurricanes or floods. While those are common disasters that cause data loss, there are many others that need to be considered when making disaster recovery plans. In fact, in the computer world, a disaster is anything that causes extended loss of access to computer systems needed to run a business. This can be caused by many other things, besides traditional disasters due to weather. Weather and Fire Damage Weather and fire are the most common disasters that need to be planned for during a disaster recovery plan. In these instances, not only will the data be lost, the hardware might be lost as well. A disaster recovery plan might also be part of a business continuity plan. Owners and managers will need to take steps to ensure they have a workspace, hardware and a backup copy of all their data to maintaining their business during difficult times. In addition, it might be necessary to set up employees with work from home abilities ahead of time. These employees are usually considered key personal and they are prepared to work on a backup basis even in the event of total system loss. While much of the damage in a disaster like these will be covered by insurance, it might take a while to get the funds and equipment to return to the regular workplace. In these cases, the disaster recovery plan must be designed to work for the long term. Malicious Attacks Disasters might not always be external. While weather and fire might commonly cause damage to the hardware of a system, sometimes the danger that comes from internal damage is far worse. In this case, the company might be dealing with a disgruntled former employee, bored internet hacker or dissatisfied customer who attempts to take down the software of a company through viruses or other means. While these instances are not as common, they do happen. In this case, it is important to find the root problem and when it happened. If someone downloaded a virus into the system, it is important to determine exactly when this virus was downloaded. While many might think that the virus was downloaded right before the failure, viruses work different ways. Some might be designed to launch immediately. Others might be on a timed system and some might launch randomly. That is why it is important to find out when the virus or issue occurred and restore a data set that was backed up prior to the incident. Accidental and Human Errors Sometimes, an employee can unintentionally damage the system because of a misunderstanding of how the system works. They might delete an important file or fail to follow company procedure for backups. Human error is one of the most common causes of data loss. While it is not usually enough to cause a disastrous loss of data, it can still be inconvenient. The problem might become compounded when the employee tries to hide their error. This is why it is important for employers to train employees thoroughly and limit the permissions to delete things off a network to those who need such permissions. In addition, the systems should be tested as often as possible to check for issues with data or programs. When facing a disaster recovery, the biggest thing that will affect a plan is how the disaster occurred in the first place. While some disasters might cause complete losses of resources, others can be fixed by installing a recent backup. Either way, having a plan for every disaster is crucial for the continuity of a company.