The Cloud Hangs over World Backup Day

Posted on March 31, 2016 By Pedro Hernandez


Just in time for World Backup Day (March 31), the data recovery specialists at Kroll Ontrack have released the results of a new survey, revealing that businesses and consumers are starting to trust the cloud with their backups.

The company quizzed 528 customers in North America, Europe and Asia who lost data. Twenty-three percent of respondents said they were considering cloud backups, a 5 percent gain compared to last year. External hard drives were the most popular backup solution at 51 percent, a 17 percent decrease from 2015.

Encouragingly, most businesses and home users are taking steps to back up their data. But mishaps still happen.

Eighty-six percent of those surveyed reported having a backup solution in place and still lost data. Among them, 58 percent use external hard drives, 11 percent a network-attached storage (NAS) system and 8 percent tape. Sixteen percent used the cloud.

Nearly half (48 percent) of all respondents reported that they backed up their data on a daily basis. Despite this, they lost data due to backup solutions that didn't work properly (22 percent), failing to include a device in backup procedures (21 percent) and outdated backups (21 percent).

Earlier this month, Kroll Ontrack surveyed 600 IT administrators and discovered that nearly a third (32 percent) of organizations lost data during migrations and operating system upgrades. While 57 percent had backup solutions in pace, 75 percent lost at least some of their data and 23 percent lost all of their data.

Backups don't just help organizations and average folks recover from user error, hardware failures and other calamities. They can stop cyber-criminals in their tracks.

Ransomware, malware that encrypts data and holds it hostage until a "ransom" is paid, is a growing threat to user data. The number of ransomware families has grown from just two in 2013 to 12 in 2015, according to a recent report from Bromium, an endpoint security software maker.

A separate study from Acronis, a hybrid-cloud data protection company, reveals that one in three people experienced data loss of some sort. Twenty percent were willing to pay $500 or more to get their files back. The company used Google Consumer Surveys to poll more than 4,000 people in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and Australia.

Citing data from the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Acronis noted in the study that between April 2014 and June 2015, 992 ransomware victims reporting losses totaling more than $18 million.

Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.

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