The biggest data loss threat of 2016

Posted by Anne Campbell on Apr 1, 2016 1:47:24 PM

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In honor of World Backup Day, Intronis held an election to determine which Data Loss Gremlins will be the biggest threat to small businesses and their data in 2016. With so many serious threats putting SMBs' data in danger, choosing just one Data Loss Gremlin was tough. As one service provider put it, "I would vote for four or five of them if I could as I've been attacked by many of these."

But, the votes have been cast, and without further ado, the winner is ... Phishy!


This devious Data Loss Gremlin might look innocent, but that's one of the things that makes Phishy so dangerous. His skill at deceiving unsuspecting end-users with crafty social engineering tactics and his close alliances with Mal and Klepto are just two of the things that helped this Data Loss Gremlin bring home the win. 

Here are a few reasons MSPs cast their votes for Phishy and his phishing scams as the biggest data loss threat of 2016:

  • "Careless and uninformed employees post the largest threat to data security and network security integrity." —Mike M.
  • "Ransomware is nothing without good ole Phishy!" —David A. 
  • "Even with the rest of the problems out there, Phishy typically is the reason that systems get compromised. Open a bad email, click on the wrong link, type in a web address wrong, then, bam, the user follows Phishy's instructions and allows their credentials to start destroying the systems and backups. The worst is when Phishy gets a higher level employee with a ransomware attack, and of course their privileges allowed it to encrypt every share on the server." —Dustin V.

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The Runners-up

Phishy was followed closely by Mal in second place, Klepto in third, and Dino and Whoopsie Day tied for fourth place. Your fellow MSPs had quite a bit to say about these destructive Data Loss Gremlins as well. 


  • "Malware is the most insidious of the group. It tried to usurp the personality of some of the other gremlins, like Phishy, to trick you into taking his nasty payload. That and users just never listen when they are told not to do something." —Mj S.
  • "Ransomware attacks are on an exponential increase!" —Ken B.


  • "End users are lulled into a false sense of safety because their computers update themselves and they think their AV will block all problems. With all this, they assume they don't need anyone watching over their systems and that's when it strikes!" —Bill W.
  • "Even aware users have bad habits like clicking on attachments that they have no business opening." —Charles S.

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  • "I believe that SMBs' culture may be too focused on saving money and cutting corners with their existing IT setup." —Matt D.
  • "To change one's thinking is more difficult than implementing a BCDR solution." —Brian O.

Whoopsie Daisy

  • "Clients do it all the time. Whoopsie, I accidentally deleted that file I really needed." —Marc B.
  • "Natural disasters and fires are actually pretty rare. Hard drive failures are prevalent but less so than a few years ago in my opinion. People still make mistakes at the same rate they always have." —Patrick T.

The Back of the Pack

The results backed up the idea that physical data loss threats such as natural disasters, fire, and equipment failure are seen as less of a threat now with more and more data moving to the cloud. Mayhem, Scorch, and Scratch came in sixth, seventh, and eighth, respectively.

This reinforces the fact that malicious attacks, such as phishing, malware infections, and data breaches are top of mind for MSPs and their customers. Educating end-users about these threats is one of the most important ways to defend against them as an MSP. Take this opportunity to teach your customers and their employees about phishing, malware, and the warning signs they should watch out for, and they can become your best line of defense.

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Topics: Data Loss, Cyber Security

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