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What Causes Data Disruption?

By: Susan Melony


database disruption in the workplace

If your business network has ever experienced any form of data disruption before, then you understand how troublesome it can be. Data disruption is what happens when data traveling through your network experiences some form of error or incompatibility that causes delays or dysfunction.

The last thing you want is for your users on your network to experience errors and be unable to complete their tasks. Instead, you want to prioritize data security to prevent loss and data resiliency to replace loss when it does happen.

Effectively protecting your data begins with understanding what can cause your data to become disrupted. There are several potential areas where data disruption can occur within your network, but four specific issues stand out and we’ll dive into them now.

User Errors

One of the most common and easily-recognizable sources of data disruption comes in the form of user errors. This can apply to both your employees and customers using the network or services improperly.

While your employees are likely well-trained and highly knowledgeable, mistakes are still easy when dealing with large volumes of data.

User error is particularly relevant when it comes to cyberattacks. If your network security team does not stay on top of keeping software updated and addressing possible weak points then that negligence can leave your data vulnerable.

Additionally, user error can occur when your employees are interacting with data sent from customers. With inadequate training or a lack of attention, an employee may accidentally click on a dangerous email that contains a phishing link from a cybercriminal. 

This is why you and your entire team must understand how to properly interact with the network and other users to keep your data safe from disruption. 

It is also a good idea to have a plan ready should data loss or a breach occur. If your team is informed, they can respond quickly and minimize the extent of the attack.

Remember that your employees can only work with what they know. The more knowledge you give them, the greater your chances of data being properly protected.

Data Corruption

Closely related to user error is data corruption, which typically is a byproduct of previous user error. Data corruption is what happens when incorrect data is input, data is handled incorrectly or the data becomes downright unusable.

When data is input and is assumed to be correct, it is treated as such and resulting equations or responses may not be accurate if that data is wrong. For example, if you’re trying to budget for a recurring expense and you’ve recorded it incorrectly for years, then your total expenses will not add up when you’re trying to reconcile later.

Data corruption can be tricky because it isn’t often obvious when it occurs. You’ll have no idea you’re using incorrect data and then responding incorrectly as a result. This is particularly bad if it happens on a larger scale and doesn’t become realized until years later.

Because of this, ensuring accurate data entry is essential to keeping your data free from corruption. Working with bad data and having to figure out what went wrong later will be a major hassle and prevent your team from using their resources on better projects.


Another common reason for data disruption is due to cybercrimes. These can occur in a variety of ways like phishing emails, viruses, and direct denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.

Depending on what type of cybercrime occurs, the length and extent of disruption to your data will vary. Crimes like DDoS attacks and ransomware will completely lock you out of your network and prevent any operations.

On the other hand, viruses and phishing emails might not initially slow things down, but they often eventually result in delays and greater data loss.

Whenever your network is not working optimally, data disruption is occurring. Cyberattacks exist to steal data from your network and this will only cause headaches and prevent proper processing of data.

Having to deal with any form of cyberattack is difficult and the likelihood of data loss is high. This is why you need to be prepared to defend against cybercrimes instead of waiting for them to happen first.

Inadequate Infrastructure

A final reason why data disruption happens is because of inadequate infrastructure. There are two key aspects to this.

Firstly, there is a physical aspect that can be viewed as your IT team. When your network has issues or users need additional help, you’ll need to use the resources of your IT team.

Depending on how large your team is, you may not have the capacity to handle all incoming needs. When your IT team is lacking, then your network suffers and your users experience delays.

Your IT team can also cause problems if they are poorly trained for the network and software your business uses. Lacking knowledge and using programs improperly can result in data being interpreted incorrectly and the experiences of other users being impacted.

The other side of infrastructure is the digital aspect. This speaks to the software and hardware you use within your network.

If you are using software or hardware that is outdated or broken, then this will only cause poor performance for anyone on the network. Your network is only secure as it is updated and neglecting this results in data disruption.

When approaching the infrastructure of your network, ensure that the physical and digital elements are properly initialized and managed to minimize any data loss.

Closing Thoughts

Data disruption is incredibly frustrating and only leads to wasted resources. Protecting your data is crucial if you want to keep your business and network running efficiently.

To adequately keep your data safe, you should understand the biggest threats of your data becoming disrupted. The biggest risks include user error, data corruption, cybercrimes, and inadequate infrastructure.

With a balanced approach to keeping your data protected from attacks with good cybersecurity practices and having regular backups to make your data resilient, you can keep your business running smoothly and your data safe.

Published: May 12, 2023

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