User survey: Security threats and disaster recovery

Posted on December 20, 2010


By Dave Simpson

December 21, 2010 – A survey of 300 IT professionals, commissioned  by Quantum and conducted by Toluna, turned up some interesting – and disconcerting – data on IT organizations’ security threats and disaster recovery operations.

For example, 100% of the survey respondents reported at least one data security incident in the past 12 months. The most common security incident was virus attacks (cited by 43% of the respondents), followed by hardware corruption (40%).

Other security-related issues included accidental deletion (28%), operating system failure (27%), natural disaster (21%), lost or stolen devices (20%), hacking or other electronic breaches (19%), firmware corruption (16%) and break-ins (13%).

And a surprising 87% of the IT professionals think that their data is vulnerable in the event of security-related incidents, while almost half of them think that their data is “somewhat” or “extremely” vulnerable (as opposed to “slightly” or “not at all” vulnerable).

The survey also revealed the business impact of security-related incidents. For example, it takes IT organizations on average 10.5 hours to resume normal operations after a security incident, with more than 25% reporting that it takes 11 hours or more and 13% reporting delays of at least one day.

The survey also queried the IT professionals about how they implement disaster recovery. About 37% replicate to a DR site, 27% send media offsite and replicate to a DR site, and 22% just send media offsite.

“The most common mistake that people make is to not treat DR as being separate from backup and long-term archiving,” says Steve Whitner, a product marketing manager at Quantum. Whitner advises using disk-based deduplication for cost-efficient replication to improve disaster recovery scenarios and reduce security risks.

The survey also asked users about their backup practices. Almost half (47%) use a combination of disk and tape for backup, while 40% rely solely on disk and 13% only use tape for backup.

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