Survey: Number of ‘backup data loss’ remains high

Survey: Number of ‘backup data loss’ remains high

According to a new global Ontrack survey conducted on the occasion of World Backup Day, 2018, more than one-third of the respondents did not have a backup in place at the time of data loss.

More than two-thirds – 67% – of businesses and consumers now employ a backup solution to secure their data from the effects of a data loss. That’s the positive outcome from the latest survey conducted by Ontrack, the global leader in data recovery services.

However, there are a couple of drawbacks to this finding: The figure of people suffering a data loss again remained high: Almost 20% of the respondents experienced a data loss in 2017, even if it dropped by 7% compared to 2016 (27%).

Despite the high percentage of data loss, the current World Backup Day survey by Ontrack clearly shows that an astonishingly high number of the respondents, 33%, still have not been using a backup when they experienced data loss. Even though the number of ‘backup history’ declined globally over the last five years, it has remained relatively stable over the years. Worldwide figures have ranged from 37% in 2013 and 39% in 2015, with current figures from 2017 at 33%. The main reason behind why respondents didn’t use a backup solution was that they didn’t have enough time to research and administer an appropriate backup solution.

The third major finding of this survey has not changed dramatically over the years. Even though the majority of users did use a backup solution, many still suffered a severe data loss. From the respondents who experienced a data loss in 2017, only 43% were able to restore 75-100% of their data from their backup. Eleven percent were able to restore only 40-75% of their data. The remaining respondents lost either most of their data or all of it. In 2016, 66% were able to restore from three quarters up to all of their data, while again 11% could only retrieve 40-75% of the data.

One big question remains – why did so many respondents experience a data loss even though they have a backup solution in place? The simple answer is they do not test or validate if their backup is functioning properly often enough.

The results from this year’s survey display that only 27% of the respondents test their backup weekly, while 32% only once a month. The remaining respondents either test their backup only once a year or never. In 2016, only 24% of the respondents tested their backup once a week, while 34% at least once a month, 13% do a backup check only once a year and almost 24% never do.

With these results at hand, there is no big surprise that many of the data restores with backups are prone to failure.

Ontrack advises everyone – from home to enterprise users – to make a proper backup of all important data and to frequently check and validate its functionality.

In addition, Ontrack offers the following basic guidelines to businesses and consumers on how to achieve positive backup results:

  • Set up a backup schedule that covers all relevant devices and media
  • Verify that backups function correctly and that they run in accordance with the determined schedule
  • Regularly check data backup systems to identify any errors
  • Test backups on a regular basis to validate that data is complete and intact

The survey was conducted among nearly 350 Ontrack customers and partners from the U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Poland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK in February 2018.

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