Story image

Top 10 Data Disasters of 2012

04 Dec 2012

Kroll Ontrack has revealed its list of the top 10 data disasters for 2012, highlighting the need for electronic data to combat human error.

In the ninth annual installment of the list, all entries were successful data recoveries with none coming from New Zealand shores.

Top 10 Data Disasters 2012:

10. Rinse cycleA woman placed her external hard drive in a dirty laundry basket and carried it downstairs.

The family cat strategically placed itself on the laundry, which obscured the view of the drive from the woman’s boyfriend, who shooed away the cat and quickly threw the clothes in the washing machine. On went the machine and away went the data.

9. Don't drink and work!A graphics designer about to finish a beautiful 3D logo job for a customer decided to have a drink to celebrate.

When he returned from the kitchen to admire his work, he accidentally flipped over the glass - giving his computer a chance to take a sip. The project was gone, and so was the designer’s happiness.

8. Lost in the desertImagine working in one of the most challenging and remote environments of the world and being confronted with a serious data loss.

This is what happened to a resources company in the Gobi Desert. They accidentally deleted a VMware machine and several snapshots.

7. Erase all tracesWhen an Australian pool and spa shop was being robbed, the burglars decided to hide all the evidence by pouring the large stock of hydrochloric acid on the shop floor and counters, consequently damaging the shop’s computer and point of sale terminal.

6. Slippery handsAn iPad, containing important drilling data, was dropped off the side of a Nigerian oil rig.

While water is the number one most common cause of damage to mobile devices, this incident, involving salt water, was not as bad as first feared.

5. Lost in transitA business professional set his backpack, containing his iPad, down to give his shoulder a break while waiting for the city bus.

The bus pulled up, but before letting on the passengers, the driver realised the bus was situated in the crosswalk. The business professional didn’t pick up his backpack in time, and the bus crushed the pack’s contents, including the iPad.

4. Disgruntled employeeAfter an employee was fired, he took solace at a fast-food chain and plotted his revenge. Revenge included logging on to the network he still had access to and deleting as much data as he could get his hands on using the restaurant’s free Wi-Fi.

3. Careful driverA man pulled into a shopping center parking lot and parked his car. When he opened his door, he noticed that he had badly parked in two spots.

He climbed back in and slammed the door, not noticing that he had dropped his camera on the road. As he re-corrected his parking several times, he felt something beneath the wheel, which turned out to be his camera.

2. Sweeping illnessViruses can be silent and deadly, so when a malware attack infected 30,000 workstations at a Middle Eastern oil company, swift efforts were required to cease the damage and restore business continuity.

1. Don't ignore blinking RED lightsA RAID5 came into the Kroll Ontrack Madrid office after several people noticed a red blinking light on the RAID and alerted their IT manager.

The IT manager said the light didn’t mean anything and in a matter of three weeks, the RAID stopped working. Kroll Ontrack restored 100 percent of the data.

“Despite best efforts to prevent disasters, data loss still happens due to hardware failure, software corruption, computer viruses, natural disasters and of course human error,” says Adrian Briscoe, general manager, Kroll Ontrack.

“Kroll Ontrack is committed to R&D and has more than 200 engineers working on technology and techniques that anticipate and address our clients’ needs.”

What is your worst data disaster? Tell us below