Data Loss Disasters

There were an estimated 5.2 million businesses in the UK which employed 25.2 million people, and have a combined turnover of more than £3,500 billion (Source: Department for Business Innovation and Skills). In todays connected world the majority of these use computers in some way whether that would be desktops, laptops, electronic point of sale (EPOS) terminals, tablets or smart phones.

All these devices store and process data hundreds of times a day, the data held on a local hard drive or memory card, stored on a network owned by the business or with a third party in the cloud.

The amount of data is growing exponentially. Today, best estimates suggest that at least 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced every day (that’s 2.5 followed by a staggering 18 zeros!).  That’s everything from data collected by the Curiosity Rover on Mars, to your Facebook photos from your latest holiday.

Businesses can suffers a data loss which can destroy or interrupt by a variety of risks, key amongst these being:

  • Destruction of data (or its credibility) by virus, hacking, breach of confidentiality or unauthorised access.
  • Destruction of data by local device failure
  • Intellectual property disputes, for example affecting domain name registration
  • Failure of the surrounding environment on which it depends critically; for example, power failure. Also consider regional exposures that impact on hardware production – take the 1995 Japanese earthquake at Kobe, which destroyed almost the entire global stock of new memory chips, with an immediate devastating impact on production and pricing of new goods, sales of new goods and an indirect effect on e-commerce trading.
  • Failure of the software to deliver as promised due to design inadequacies, capacity failures or other incompatibility reasons.
  • Deliberate interruption, corruption or contamination of the operating processes.

The cost of recovering this data would fall to the business and in real terms would affect the bottom line. In cases where non-intrusive techniques can be used to recover your data from a hard drive, the cost for recovery is typically £250 to £350 depending on the work required.  Where physical failure has occurred, and the hard drive needs to be worked on in a cleanroom, typical costs are in the region of £500 to £600. The knock on effect to the business not being able to trade or loss of orders would also have be significant drain on the company.

These risks can be mitigated in a number of ways, the first would be backing up data, having mirror servers or using the cloud. The second way would be to insure this risk and pass that on to an insurer who would also cover the reinstatement of any data, physical loss to any hardware along with covering the business interruption which could be for any increased costs such as overtime or loss of profits or revenue

This is all very scary and Sharon Fisher, a veteran computer journalist who has been on staff at InfoWorld, CommunicationsWeek, and Computerworld, looked into where the numbers came from. She found serious inconsistencies but still concluded that the risks are high.


“You really want to calculate some lost business? Figure out just how many person-hours have been wasted trying to find the source of this mythical statistic.”


The cost of computer insurance including all these elements under a specialist computer policy is not much more than including in your standard combined policy but with a much greater level of cover with sometimes a lower excess depending on the insurer. Consult a specialist commercial insurer to find the appropriate cover.

Our colleagues at Fielding Insurance can give you more information on
0114 398 0431. Quote ”purple”