Acronis research reveals alarming practices
UK SMBs are worryingly lax when it comes to data backup and recovery, new research from Acronis has discovered.
The survey, carried out by Vanson Bourne, quizzed 600 IT managers in organisations with 250-1,000 employees in the UK, France and Germany. It aimed to examine whether SMBs fully understood the business implication of a poor data backup and recovery policy.
Over half (56%) said they automatically backup data on workstations, while 25% do it manually. Alarmingly 19% said they do not back up their workstations at all. Acronis estimates that around 60% of company data is held on workstations such as desktop PCs and laptops.
The UK lags well behind both France and Germany when it comes to backing up, with 38% of UK SMBs not backing up. This compares to 9% in Germany and just 6% in France. Just 40% of UK organisations automatically backup their workstations, compared to 63% in Germany and 69% in France.
David Blackman, Acronis general manager, Northern Europe, said it’s not clear why some firms are failing to backup their data. “Is it ignorance? Do they think their data isn’t valuable enough? A lot of companies invest after the act rather than before, which suggests poor policy and practice,” he told CBR.
The survey also looked at the potential costs of downtime. Nearly half (42%) said lost revenue and customers were the main worry, followed by damage to the firm’s reputation (22%), fear of losing their job (21%) and failure to meet compliance regulations (14%).
Despite poor backup practices, most firms are confident about being able to recover their data in the event of system downtime. Nearly three-quarters (72%) said they are either confident or very confident of getting their data back. UK firms were more confident about their chances of data recovery than their European counterparts.
However, 63% said that it would take them a day or more to recover after downtime. Blackman said that this leaves companies wide open to lost revenue, lost productivity and lost customers. “If you lose customers, you lose revenue and it spirals from there,” he said. “If you’re systems go down for a week or even a day, it can cost you serious amounts of money.”
The key to improving backup practices across the UK lies with improved regulation and legislation as well as end user education, Blackman believes. “The risk of getting fined by the government is a key driver for security and data recovery, as is the possibility of shareholder revolt. But users need to be educated early about the risks so they know how to act.”
Acronis provides on-site and off-site backup and disaster recovery services. It offers imaged-based bare-metal recovery, which it says is quicker than file-based methods. It captures a full image of everything on the machine, from the operating systems up to the applications, and includes all the settings, configuration and all the data.