Cyber attacks are now the #1 cause of data loss

2022 marks the first year cyber attacks overtake human error as the top cause of data loss.

New research by Databarracks shows that 38% of organisations reported cyber attack and internal breaches as a cause of data loss in 2022.

The findings come from the annual Data Health Check, a survey of 400 IT decision makers. This year’s survey focused on themes of Ransomware, Cyber, Backup, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity.

Barnaby Mote, Managing Director of Databarracks commented: “For many of us, these results should come as no surprise. Data loss caused by cyber attacks has been increasing year on year since we began the Data Health Check in 2008. In a relatively short space of time, we’ve watched cyber attacks go from minor threat, to where we are today as the leading cause of data loss for organisations.”

Mote continued: “The seriousness of the situation cannot be overstated. The other causes of data loss have not gone away. IT teams are still dealing with similar numbers of incidents caused by human error and hardware or software failure. The growth is in addition to these causes. It is a significant burden because recovery from cyber-related data loss is typically far more difficult and time consuming.

“Of those surveyed, over half have experienced a cyber attack. We also found, perhaps unsurprisingly, ransomware is the most common form of cyber attack this year.”

Mote provided suggestions on how organisations can protect themselves.

“There are two key areas organisations can focus on to protect themselves against cyber related data loss. Firstly, improve your defences to prevent the attack occurring and secondly, improve your ability to respond and recover if you do suffer data loss.

“Your first line of defence is your staff. It’s essential that employees are trained and practice good cyber hygiene. We found that almost a quarter of organisations have not carried out cyber security training in the last year.

“Review your Disaster Recovery plans to make sure they are up to date and equipped to deal with the task at hand. Cyber incidents are very different from traditional causes of data loss. Look specifically at the frequency of your backups and the number of versions of data you keep to minimise both downtime and data loss.

“Growth in cyber-related data loss will only continue so it is critical organisations are able to respond effectively.”


Burned out security teams fight back against geopolitically motivated attacks and lateral movement inside networks.
Data privacy regulation a top three challenge for IoT adopters.
VMware Carbon Black Workload for AWS delivers comprehensive visibility and security across on-premises and cloud environments for AWS customers.
Fears over employees ignoring security advice and ransomware attacks evolving beyond company capabilities outweigh personal job security.
New MDR service uniquely combines Cortex XDR technology with Unit 42’s advanced threat intelligence and threat hunting.
New Claroty xDome empowers enterprises to both modernize and protect the continuity of the cyber-physical systems that sustain our lives.
Half (50%) of IT leaders cite too much bureaucracy and process overload as a key barrier to employees being able to focus on their core role.
AI-Powered malware prevention, detection, and response for industry-leading cloud object storage service.