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Industry too confident in backup procedures

Databarracks : 08 August, 2008  (Technical Article)
Survey reveals that majority are confident of their back up and recovery operations despite having no testing in place to measure the effectiveness of their plans
Industry too confident in backup procedures
The latest results from the Databarracks annual Backup and Recovery survey indicate that overall, 91% of companies claim to be confident in their backup solution. Upon further investigation, 74% of those who do not use encryption or replication and do not take backups offsite are confident despite skipping these steps. Furthermore, 67% still consider their backup solution to be secure even though they do not keep or check backup logs and do not test their restores to ensure that they are working properly.

Peter Groucutt, Managing Director at Databarracks says “the results of the survey so far show that although most companies understand the importance of having business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place, there seems to be a knowledge gap when it comes to understanding the technologies that are currently available to deliver reliable and fast recovery in the event of a system failure. These days it is not enough to blindly trust that backups are being completed properly. Businesses and the regulatory environment in which we all exist demand fast and reliable recovery time objectives for IT systems. Such is the pace at which a modern company transacts business these days that those who are without their IT for any great length of time are losing serious money. Customers are also becoming a lot more aware of the information that companies hold and are getting less and less forgiving about delivery disruption, let alone the thought of their sensitive data being transported in a an unencrypted and readable format.”

The survey also reveals that 27% of companies’ data loss is caused by human error, 26% from hardware failure, and 19% from software failure. Previous reports from 2006 indicated that hardware failure caused the majority of data loss at 61%, while human error only accounted for 2%.

“This change in causes of data loss can possibly be attributed to improvements in software and hardware resiliency in the last two years which has reduced the number of hardware and software failures affecting computers, changing the way these threats need to be addressed in business continuity and disaster recovery plans moving forward,” speculates Oscar Arean, Databarracks’ Technical Support Manager.

The Data Health Check Survey is the largest and most comprehensive survey in the industry focused purely on backup and recovery technologies and practices. So far, it has been answered by 500 companies with strong representation across all industry sectors including Banking and Finance, IT, Education, and Engineering. The data gathered spans a variety of topics including virtualisation, business continuity plans, restores, backup policies, data retention regulations, and other associated areas.

The survey will remain open for participation on an ongoing basis and interim reports will be released throughout the year with a detailed breakdown of the results published annually. The first annual report will be published in February 2009. Companies who participate in the survey have their answers compiled into a personalised report where their responses are benchmarked against all respondents within the same particular industry, then compared to the overall results. All results are anonymous and benchmarking reports are emailed automatically once the survey has been completed.

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