What Causes Data Loss?

In order to understand shortcuts to losing your data, the first thing we need to do is understand the most common reasons that data is lost.

The primary causes of data loss are:

  • Human failure
  • Human error
  • Software corruption
  • Theft
  • Computer viruses
  • Hardware destruction

The results of the two best studies regarding data loss in the real world are depicted as follows:

Root Cause and the Incident %

Hardware failure – 40%

Human error – 29%

Software corruption  – 13%

Theft – 9%

Computer viruses – 6%

Hardware destruction  -3%


Root Cause vs Customer Perception vs Actual Incident %

Hardware or system problem – Customer Perception is 78%, Actual Incident percentage is 56%

Human error – Customer Perception is 11%, Actual Incident percentage is 26%

Software corruption- Customer Perception is 7%, Actual Incident percentage is 9%

Computer viruses – Customer Perception is 2%, Actual Incident percentage is 4%

Natural disasters –  Customer Perception is 1%, Actual Incident percentage is 2%


Each of these together forms the foundation for our advice on the most effective path for you to lose

your data. For assistance with data loss, or for help in preventing data loss, contact