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Inadequate Backup Practices by SMBs
A 2014 Report on the State of Backup for SMBs, which demonstrates how exposed SMBs are in relation to data protection, backup, security and recovery.

The survey compiles responses from 500 IT professionals at companies in the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees. Startling statistics show that
40% of IT professionals who service small businesses believe it's likely their companies would go out of business if they permanently lost all their files, and 58% are not very prepared to experience any amount of data loss.

The report highlights current trends, observations, opinions and attitudes about the state of backup from the small business IT pro's point of view.

While data protection may be top of mind for IT, this report demonstrates why protecting data files should be a company-wide concern and policy, beyond just the financial impact of data loss, most business owners don't realize how data loss can affect other aspects of their business, including their employees.

Five key takeaways for businesses emerged from the survey responses, which should serve as a wakeup call to reprioritize how businesses protect their data and its security:

1. Data Is a Silent Killer to the Bottom Line
Of the SMB IT pros surveyed, 62% had experienced the painful results of data loss and 33%t of those reported profit loss as a result. The IT pros surveyed believe it would cost their companies an average of $468,610 in lost revenue if they lost all their data files.

2. The Non-Financial Impact of Data Loss
Nearly two-thirds (62%) of IT professionals surveyed had experienced some form of data loss in their careers. While 33% replied that a result had been profit loss and 32% cited a missed business opportunity, many also reported that data loss hurt employees. These negative impacts on employees included:

  • Work/life balance of employees suffered (25%)
  • Office morale suffered (24%)
  • The IT department became micro-managed (21%)
  • Employees were fired or laid-off (15%)
  • Employees quit (11%)

3. Data Security Among SMBs
It was evident from the survey results that IT professionals at SMBs are not overly concerned with outside forces exploiting vulnerabilities in their systems and stealing data. While 22% of those surveyed placed the likelihood of an outside threat at either very or somewhat likely, an overwhelming majority (78%) placed their concerns as only somewhat unlikely or very unlikely" Some of these respondents, however, could be exposing themselves to additional risk by not encrypting their backup data. Only 54% of respondents said they encrypted more than half of their data files and 10% do not encrypt any of their backup data, which is surprising considering today's escalating risks.

4. Backup is Underutilized
Daily backup is key to maintaining business operations, yet only a third of respondents (32%) said they had completed a backup that day. Nearly half of all respondents had backed up all of their business' documents and files within the past week, and 15% said their most recent backup is up to a month old.

5. Backing Up Online and to Cloud
While this still lags behind the SMBs who backup to an external device, such as an external HDD, NAS device or server (70%), cloud use is more popular than off-site servers (37%) and flash drives (30%).

However, nearly one-third of those surveyed said their organizations continue to backup data on employee computers or some other local means.

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