By Daniel Hunter

Less than two in ten companies backup all of their data, according to new research commissioned by Onyx Group, specialist IT providers of datacentre services, business continuity, and cloud.

The research, which took place among IT managers in UK small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs), highlights a number of ineffective data storage practices that are leaving companies at risk from data loss or theft. Despite the fact that 88 per cent of businesses surveyed have disaster recovery and business continuity plans in place, more than one in four has lost some critical data in the last two years.

Neil Stephenson, CEO at Onyx Group commented: “IT is the lifeblood of most businesses today and as data preservation and the ability to retrieve data at any time is the foundation of business continuity, it is concerning that mission critical data is not being fully protected.

“Add to this the fact that data protection regulations are increasingly stringent and it is even more surprising that so many companies are still experiencing data loss and failing to implement the necessary data protection procedures.”

The research has revealed that 23 per cent of companies still record to tape. This is despite the fact that 50 per cent of all tape backups fail to restore.*

Stephenson continued: “There is an obvious need for companies to rethink their data protection strategies and to take advantage of more sophisticated methods of securing data such as online backup into secure data centres.”

The impact of data loss on a business can be profound. Research from Gartner Inc. has shown that 50 per cent of businesses that suffer disruption from data loss can go out of business within two years.* This can either be due to lost revenue as a result of the disruption or as a result of subsequently failing to meet compliance regulations.

The research from Onyx Group has shown that many organisations are not always giving thorough consideration to the security aspects of data backup. For example, 49 per cent of businesses fail to encrypt valuable data. In addition, the majority of companies (71 per cent) only backup their central or server based data, leaving them potentially vulnerable to some data loss.

Stephenson continued: “25 per cent of all PC users suffer from data loss each year. Even if data is not critical to the business, loss of data including emails, contacts and work in progress can have a big impact on productivity.

“Best practice data protection systems should allow a company to recover its most critical data first and then use a stepped approach to recover less essential information. Offsite backup to a data centre is more secure than onsite backup, which is typically at greater risk.”

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