World Backup Day 2017: even with backups, users still lose data
World Backup Day 2017: even with backups, users still lose data

The latest research from Kroll Ontrack reveals a growing popularity of cloud-based backups, with twice as many users (33 percent) as last year reporting they make backups online. Tape backup is also growing in popularity, with 17 percent of businesses and consumers backing up their data on tape, up from eight percent in 2016.

Kroll Ontrack surveyed 1000 customers in Europe, North America and Australia, of which around one third experienced data loss despite a growing use of various backup solutions.

Of those who lost data, only 35 percent did not have a current backup. Of the users who experienced data loss and had access to a backup, 67 percent said they were able to restore almost all their data, while another 13 percent were able to restore up to three quarters.

A quarter of respondents also reported that their backup failed to work properly, while 12 percent reported a corrupted backup.

When asked why they chose not to use a backup solution, 14 percent of respondents worldwide said the quest of finding the right backup solution and the expense of managing it once installed entailed too much work.

In the UK, nearly half of respondents encrypt their backups. Sixty-three percent of respondents back up daily, compared to 44 percent based in other countries. More than 18 percent of respondents back up their data once per week, and almost 16 percent once per month.

Robin England, senior research and development engineer at Kroll Ontrack told SC Media UK: “Although the results of this survey indicate that users are backing up data more regularly, it should not be forgotten that having a backup process in place is only half the story. Businesses and consumers alike must not only consider what data to back up and how often but also should regularly check that the backups are verified, accessible and secure. It is good news that 63 percent of UK respondents said they maintain a daily backup but if they are not already doing so, they should also consider making backups to multiple devices and keeping them in different geographical locations, too.”

Twenty-four percent of respondents admitted to never testing backups and the same percentage said they test backups at least once per week. Thirty percent test backups once per month.

Businesses and consumers can achieve positive backup results using these basic guidelines:

  • Set up a backup schedule that covers all relevant devices and media.

  • Verify that backups function correctly and run in accordance with the determined schedule.

  • Check data backup to identify any errors on a regular basis.

  • Test backups regularly in order to validate that data is complete and intact.

Jonathan Levine, CTO at Intermedia told SC Media UK: "Backup has always been an important part of business continuity plans. Traditional backup solutions, however, don't back up files in real time. With the emergence of ransomware that threatens to take entire businesses offline for extended periods of time, this limitation has become a critical weakness. Additionally, when companies need to restore their data, they need to do so as quickly as possible. Businesses often forget that it isn't enough to simply have backups in place, the speed with which they can be accessed and used is just as important.

“Any company that hasn't incorporated off-site, real-time cloud backup with point in time recovery and instant file access into its continuity plans is likely to suffer significant downtime at a huge financial cost should they become victims of ransomware. World Backup Day is an opportunity to educate businesses about the importance of backup and provide basic prevention and containment techniques to avoid downtime in the increasingly likely event that a ransomware attack occurs.”