Bit rot is the slow deterioration in the performance and integrity of data stored on storage media. It is also known by the names bit decay, data rot, data decay and silent corruption.
Storage array vendors are aware of bit rot and build their products to identify flaws in disks before they place them in arrays, and then monitor disks in production to detect rot before it becomes a problem.
While the frequency of bit rot in data is typically low, it can be increased by wear, dust or other contaminants, background radiation and instances of high heat. To guard against bit rot, administrators should periodically go through stored data and compare it to a known copy.
See also: erasure coding, Resilient File System (ReFS)