Most businesses understand how vital it is to protect the data on their computer systems. Yet despite this, a recent (2012) survey Trend Micro shows that less than 50% of SME’s routinely back up their data.
The causes of data loss are much more common than we might suppose. Terror attacks and disasters such as fires and floods aside, evidence shows that a surprising number of businesses experience data loss due to simple human error such as the accidental deletion or overwriting of files.
Disc or system failure, viruses, failed applications, sudden power losses or surges, over-heating, electrostatic discharge and physical damage to the storage device or medium are also often to blame.
Most remarkable of all is the fact that a comprehensive back up system for a PC or laptop can be put in place for a monthly fee that is little more than the cost of a cup of coffee!
Here are a few data loss statistics every business owner should be aware of when deciding whether or not data backup is essential:
- According to a survey by the Strategic Research Institute, companies that are unable to resume processes within 10 days of a natural disaster are unlikely to survive more than a year. And according to another survey by Baroudi Bloor International, half of all companies that do lose their data go out of business overnight.
- Of those businesses that do back up their data, 34% never test their back-ups and of those that do 77% are found to not work. Backup is only half the solution, make sure you can recover.
- According to information provided by Safeware, 29% of data loss occurs because of human error. No matter how state of the art a system is, a single human mistake can damage data.
- Companies that tested tape backup sources found discrepancies or failures in the data 77% of the time. Backups to a local disk or cloud backup are more efficient and accurate.
- Studies by Timesavers International indicate that many data loss issues occur because of malware. Protecting data on outside servers helps shield it from viruses and other insidious issues.
- The Ponemon Institute estimates that the average cost for data loss is over £135 per record. This means that the corruption of a single database could result in tens of thousands of pounds in lost revenue, recovery costs and fines, unless an effective data backup system is in place.
- Experts indicate that at least 6% of all computers will suffer some sort of data loss each year. Even if an organisation does not experience a major disaster, it is possible at least one computer or employee will experience information loss. By using an effective backup, companies can remove the chance that any loss will result in downtime or customer service issues.
Data backup is probably the most important aspect of any IT system but while systems are working there is a huge temptation to set aside backup tasks in favour of what is perceived to be more valuable work.
If you do nothing else today, make sure your data backups are working (and tested) and that you understand how quickly you could recover a system should it fail.