Holly Wainwright is the Content Marketing Manager at Datto and contributor to the Recovery Zone.
Every day, more research comes out about the state of backup with U.S. businesses. This many are backed up with tape, this many are backed up with disk, and so on. Then there’s the one I really love … “do you feel good about your backup?” I want the researchers to go back to the same survey respondents and ask them “how they feel” following a server crash or power outage – after they’ve most likely experienced data loss and downtime.
According to IDC, 15% of small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are doing absolutely no data backup (this, unfortunately, I believe). Another 60% are only backing up data on local, onsite storage devices. Of course, this will do them no good if there’s a disaster onsite that destroys their system. One more report, from STS Associates, says 57% use multiple approaches for backup. When you put these numbers against the upswing in technical and natural disasters that are occurring, our business clients may be in for a rude awakening.
The scary part comes with SMBs comfort level in their current backup plans. STS Associates also reported that 14% of SMBs felt very insecure and vulnerable, 17% felt very secure and confident, and 67% felt somewhat secure. REALLY?! I believe the research, but I don’t know if I believe the respondents. Given that 15% have no backup, how can only 14% say they “felt very insecure and vulnerable” ? And even if they believe what they’re saying, the reality is most of them have traditional backup methods, which will not give them full backup and disaster recovery in the event of a data disaster. And they’re certainly not set up for business continuity.
Aside from sharing, one of the first lessons we teach our children is to “tell the truth.” This especially hits home with me now, as my 5-year old daughter loves to weave a tall tale. Just as I don’t think my daughter intends to mislead, I don’t think it’s the respondents intention is to mislead, but rather they have a very false sense of reality. And a false sense of security. Most people live under the “it won’t happen to me” umbrella, be it system failure, malware, or tornado.
I think it’s agreed that business systems and data are at increased risk of experiencing a data disaster, be it from technical or natural causes. A frightening stat comes from AV-Test, a German research institute that tests antivirus products, showing that in 2010 there were 49 million new strains of malware. No antivirus software or number of updates can possibly keep up with that. I wonder what the results to the “how do you feel about your backup” question would be, if it was prefaced with the virus stat.