Small firms unprepared for data loss

Less than a third of small businesses have plans to ensure business continuity in the event of data loss, according to a report by disaster recovery firm Databarracks.

Just 30% of the small businesses surveyed have procedures in place to help them cope with data loss. This compares with 54% of medium-sized companies and 73% of large firms.

The most common causes of data loss are:

  • hardware failure (21%)
  • software failure (19%)
  • human error (18%)
  • data corruption (15%).

The report also found:

  • 41% of small businesses do not have a plan in place and do not expect to introduce one in the next 12 months
  • 43% of firms are now using online backup - instead of disks or tapes - to store their data
  • lack of time (35%), cost (18%) and a lack of skilled staff (18%) are the most commonly-cited reasons for not testing a disaster recovery plan.

Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, says:

"It isn't a surprising trend for larger organisations to be more likely to have a business continuity plan than smaller organisations. What we do find surprising is that it is only 30% of respondents from small organisations, and around half of medium sized, even have a business continuity plan at all.

"Two of the main reasons for the disparity are cost and time. Larger organisations have dedicated business continuity managers but in the smaller organisations the responsibility falls to the managing director or CEO and the IT manager to own the plan and handle disaster recovery."

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