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SURVEY: MORE PEOPLE BACK UP THEIR DATA IN 2014, BUT STILL LOSE IT

Kroll Ontrack survey shows simply having a backup solution in place is not enough to prevent data loss

Having an external hard drive is not enough. That is the main message behind updated data released today from Kroll Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery and edisclosure. Results from a second-annual survey of customers who lost valuable computer data shows the majority of consumers and businesses are taking steps to back up their data, but a range of minor oversights rendered those steps ineffective.

The survey highlights that 65 per cent had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss, up from 60 per cent in 2013. Of those respondents, 59 per cent used an external hard drive, 15 per cent had cloud backup and 10 per cent used a tape backup system. Additionally, 55 per cent said they diligently backed up their data on a daily basis.

So why did they still lose their data? Regardless of the solution or backup frequency, data loss may have occurred as a result of one of the following oversights and/or failures:

  • The external drive was only connected on an occasional basis; backup not automated and instead performed on demand
  • The computer was not on during a scheduled backup and not configured to perform at a different time
  • The backup software failed
  • The backup ran out of destination space
  • The backup profile did not cover all of the device requiring backup
  • A file was lost before a scheduled backup occurred

“As the year-over-year survey results demonstrate, conducting backups is just step one in a complete backup strategy,” said Phil Bridge, Managing Director, Kroll Ontrack. “Regularly ensuring your backup solution works effectively and the data is accessible is also paramount.”

Among the findings of the survey of 642 recent Ontrack Data Recovery customers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific: 64 per cent claimed losing business data (compared to 67 per cent in 2013) and 36 per cent experienced a personal data loss (compared to 33 per cent in 2013). Of the 35 per cent (compared to 40 per cent in 2013) that did not have a backup solution at the time of loss, 53 per cent said they are extremely likely to seek a backup solution, followed by 36 per cent that are somewhat likely. When asked about the primary barriers that kept them from seeking a backup solution, time to research and administer a backup solution was once again the most common reason, cited by 49 per cent in 2014 compared to 55 per cent in 2013. Expense of backup solution, cited by 27 per cent of respondents, was the next most common barrier to leveraging a backup solution.

“With backup technology getting better in quality and price, it is no surprise we saw an uptick in the percentage of people implementing a backup solution,” Bridge said. “What is interesting is that that those that spend time, effort and money to implement the solution still experienced data loss, proving that one needs to be extremely diligent to ensure their chosen backup method is successful. If all else fails, the final line of defence should include enlisting the assistance of a reputable and experienced data recovery provider.”

In preparation for World Backup Day on 31st March, 2014, Kroll Ontrack advises that individuals and businesses alike should diligently monitor and verify their chosen method of backup to ensure it is successfully operating and capturing a current, accurate snapshot. The company recommends assessing your personal data loss risk using the Kroll Ontrack Data Calculator and then taking the necessary steps to implement a backup system keeping the following tips in mind:

  • Take the time to invest in a backup solution and set up a backup schedule
  • Ensure backups are running regularly in accordance with the determined schedule
  • Check backup reports for error indications or failure
  • Test backups on a regular basis to ensure data has been accurately captured and files are intact

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