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Corrupted file caused FAA flight delays – Top 5 reasons & solutions

Laura Pompeu

Laura Pompeu

With 10 years of experience in journalism, SEO & digital marketing, Laura Pompeu uses her skills and experience to manage (and sometimes write) content focused on technology and business strategies.

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Corrupted file caused FAA flight delays - Top 5 reasons & solutions
Laura Pompeu

Laura Pompeu

With 10 years of experience in journalism, SEO & digital marketing, Laura Pompeu uses her skills and experience to manage (and sometimes write) content focused on technology and business strategies.

Socials:

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The recent Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) ground stoppage highlights how file corruption is a common issue that can occur in any type of computer system – even your backup. But while the FAA and the Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg state that “preliminary work has traced the issue to a damaged database file”, the main question to arise is: what could’ve caused the FAA file corruption in the first place?

What could’ve caused the FAA file corruption

In this article, we will discuss the top 5 causes of file corruption and how they relate to the recent FAA ground stoppage, as well as solutions to prevent it and protect your business.

Software bugs

One of the most common causes of file corruption is software bugs. These are errors in the code of a program that can cause it to malfunction or crash. A simple way to prevent software bugs from causing file corruption is to keep all software up to date and to regularly install security updates and patches. Additionally, it is a good practice to test software thoroughly before deploying it in a production environment.

Hardware failures

Another common cause of file corruption is hardware failures. This can occur when a component of the computer, such as a hard drive or memory, fails.

To prevent hardware failures from causing file corruption, it is important to use high-quality hardware and to regularly check for signs of wear and tear. Additionally, it is a good practice to have a hardware maintenance schedule in place, and to replace hardware before it reaches the end of its useful life.

Power outages

Power outages can also cause file corruption, although it doesn’t seem to have been the cause of the FAA outage. When a computer is powered off unexpectedly, such as during a power outage, files can become corrupted and it can affect the rest of your system. 

Of course, power outages are often unpredictable, but you can prevent data corruption caused by power outages. For example, you should use an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) to provide temporary power to a computer in the event of a power outage. Additionally, it is a good practice to have a backup generator on hand in case of extended power outages.

Malware

The FAA state that “The FAA is continuing a thorough review to determine the root cause of the Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) system outage. Our preliminary work has traced the outage to a damaged database file. At this time, there is no evidence of a cyber attack.”

However, malware (or malicious software) is one of the top causes of file corruption. How ransomware spreads is usually tied to when a computer is infected with a virus or other type of malware. 

When this happens, it’s important to know what to do before and after a ransomware attack. A way to prevent attacks is to use a reputable antivirus software and to regularly scan for malware. Additionally, it is a good practice to be cautious when opening email attachments or downloading files from the internet, and to keep all software updated to the latest version.

Human error

Lastly, human error can also cause file corruption. This can occur when a person accidentally deletes a file or alters it in a way that causes it to become corrupt. 

While you can’t stand over the shoulders of each of your workers at all times, you can help prevent human error from causing file corruption by having a robust backup and disaster recovery plan in place. Additionally, it is a good practice to educate users on best practices for working with files and to have a process in place for monitoring and auditing file changes.

In conclusion, file corruption can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from software bugs to hardware failures. The recent FAA ground stoppage, which seems to have been caused by a damaged file, highlights the importance of understanding the potential causes of file corruption and taking steps to prevent it.

Questions on file corruption? Ask our data recovery advisors anytime at +1 (800) 972-3282

TL;DR: By keeping software up to date, using high-quality hardware, having a hardware maintenance schedule, implementing a backup and disaster recovery plan, and educating users on best practices for working with files, organizations can reduce the risk of file corruption and minimize the impact if it does occur.

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