GFI Software™ Research Reveals Failed Data Backups in SMBs Leading to Loss of Revenue, Financial Records, SSNs and Customer Records

June 20, 2013 - 12:00

New survey data shows nearly one-third of SMBs do not test backup solutions for effectiveness

According to a recent survey by GFI Software™, small to medium-sized (SMB) businesses are losing critical business information as a result of failed backups, and have suffered significant impacts as a result.  Many IT administrators surveyed revealed that a failed backup has led to a loss of revenue and important company documents, including financial records, employee emails and confidential information such as social security numbers. As a result, respondents indicated that failed backups have affected customer relations, business operations and brand reputation.

The independent, blind survey of 200 IT administrators who work at U.S. organizations with fewer than 150 employees was conducted by Opinion Matters on behalf of GFI Software. The survey results highlight the backup behaviors of IT administrators, including methods of managing data backup, the frequency and speed of data backup and the impacts of a failed backup.

Managing Data Backup
One way to prevent data loss is to backup critical business files on a daily basis. However, more than half (53%) of the organizations surveyed revealed they do not conduct daily backups.  IT administrators indicated the biggest reason for not backing up data every day is that it’s not an efficient use of their time, according to nearly one-third (32%) of respondents. Nearly one-quarter (23%) of IT admins said backing up data that frequently is “not necessary” or that there’s “not much data” to backup. In direct contrast, 10% of IT admins said the biggest reason they do not conduct a daily backup is because they have too much data. Other respondents suggested they do not conduct backups every day because they lack the resources, efficient technology or sufficient storage space. Some respondents – including 75% of those who work at organizations with 50-99 employees – said daily backups are disruptive to workplace productivity.

The Need for Speed
When asked how their current data backup processes could be improved, the number one factor cited was speed, with half of respondents indicating they wish their current backup processes were faster or more efficient. Other factors included cost (14%), security (6%) and reliability (5%), while an additional 6% said they wish their organization’s data backup processes were managed by a third-party.

Cloud Concerns
Nearly two-thirds of organizations are not managing their data backup through the cloud, instead relying upon on-premise or virtual data backup solutions.  Respondents cited cost, security and reliability as top concerns with a cloud-based backup solution. Others suggested they prefer to have complete control over their data backup, while some indicated they were still considering their backup options. One in ten organizations relies upon a hybrid approach to data backup. One IT admin indicated cloud-based backup is only part of the solution. “We still recommend a physical backup because of a possible internet outage.” 

Data Loss
In order to protect critical information, companies need to regularly test their backup solutions to ensure they work properly. However, nearly one-third (32%) of IT administrators surveyed revealed their organizations do not conduct such tests. The healthcare industry is among the most lax, with two-thirds of respondents revealing they do not test their backup solutions for effectiveness. Perhaps not coincidentally, two-thirds of respondents in the healthcare industry revealed their organization has experienced a data loss. Other industries in which a high percentage of companies do not test the effectiveness of their backup solutions include: sales, media and marketing (63%) and architecture, engineering and building (56%).

Data Recovery
Successful data backup is critical. But equally, if not more important, is the ability to recover that data when needed. While only 6% of respondents rely on daily data recovery, one in five respondents indicated they need to recover their data on at least a weekly basis.  Additionally, nearly three-quarters (74%) of IT admins said they recover their data at least once every six months.

Those respondents who indicated they were not able to recover data due to a failed backup cited loss of revenue and critical business documents as the biggest impacts on their business. Other IT admins said their organizations suffered the following consequences:

- The loss of data “caused weeks of problems with clients.”

- “We lost records pertinent to our organization that were unable to be duplicated and had to be reinvented.”

- The impact of the data loss was “…huge, in terms of meeting deadlines and productivity.”

“A company’s data is essential to its day-to-day operations and, ultimately, to the success of the business,” said Andy Langsam, GM of IASO, part of the GFI Software family.  “As such, organizations need to be able to rely upon secure backup solutions that are cost-effective and efficient. Speed is the number one factor IT administrators said they wish they could improve about their current backup process. It doesn’t matter whether an organization is backing up its data on-premise, virtually or to the cloud. Backing up critical systems and applications on a large number of machines within an organization on a daily basis needs to be a fast process that does not impede workplace productivity or impact operational efficiency.”

A copy of the full survey results is available upon request.   

About GFI
GFI Software™ develops quality IT solutions for small to mid-sized businesses with generally up to 1,000 users. GFI® offers two main technology solutions: GFI MAX™, which enables managed service providers (MSPs) to deliver superior services to their customers; and GFI Cloud™, which empowers companies with their own internal IT teams to manage and maintain their networks via the cloud. Serving an expanding customer base of more than 200,000 companies, GFI’s product line also includes collaboration, network security, anti-spam, patch management, faxing, mail archiving and web monitoring. GFI is a channel-focused company with thousands of partners throughout the world. The company has received numerous awards and industry accolades, and is a longtime Microsoft® Gold ISV Partner.