The dangers of uncoordinated backup practices

One-third of SMBs allow employees to select their own method of backup for their data at work – essentially passing the buck when it comes to data protection, according to Mozy.

This is concerning because companies that don’t provide formal policies instead rely on uncoordinated backup practices that can leave business owners susceptible to significant risks in the event of data loss.

World Backup Day is an excellent opportunity for SMBs to reevaluate their company backup policies. They can then implement a safe and reliable protection service for their valuable company and client data.

The Mozy survey of more than 640 SMBs was conducted to identify employees’ and executives’ habits and attitudes about backup and data security. It found that a significant number of SMBs don’t implement safe backup strategies – despite well-documented risks for loss of sensitive client and company data.

Incredibly, 60 percent of companies surveyed do not budget for any form of backup; and only 15 percent of SMBs use remote, automatic online backup.

Of those businesses that do data backups regularly, the survey found the most prevalent methods are those that can most easily be lost, stolen, deleted or destroyed – such as external hard drives (53 percent use them) without some type of online backup connection, company servers (36 percent) and USB thumb drives (31 percent).

10 percent of professionals surveyed say they email themselves copies of documents as one form of backup.

Survey participants included professionals in the financial, real estate, medical, construction and legal industries.

Across all industries, risky behavior surrounding sensitive data protection is common, the survey found, and when data is lost, it is rarely recovered. In the last year, nearly 50 percent of all businesses surveyed reported that an employee’s hard drive had crashed, and in 72 percent of the cases data was not fully recovered.

“Professionals should take the following steps to implement backup practices,” continued Stockdale. “First, find a secure and reliable cloud service to complement a local backup device, which by itself can easily be destroyed, damaged or misplaced. Second, the offsite service chosen should automatically back up data, be user-friendly and should emphasize data security and privacy through a strong encryption method. Finally, companies should extend backup policies to include strategies for protecting the data on mobile devices, as analysts predict a surge in employees using personal smartphones or tablets for business purposes throughout 2012.”

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