Ontrack Survey: Reduced Data Loss due to Backups!

Monday, April 1, 2019 by Michael Nuncic

A global survey of more than 800 Ontrack customers and partners during World Backup Day revealed that 2018 saw more users are protecting themselves from data loss with backups. In contrast to previous years, when on average more than 30% of respondents did not use a backup at all, the proportion of these users dropped dramatically last year to 2%! With only 13% of respondents having suffered any data loss at all in 2018!

A dramatic improvement was also seen in the use of backup solutions. In 2017,  only 43% of respondents were able to recover between 75% and 100% of their data from their backup, this year that figure increased to 76%.

How often data is backed up saw no significant increase in comparison to last year. 62% of respondents made a daily backup of their data in 2018 in comparison to 58% in 2017. While a weekly backup was performed by 16% of respondents, a similar figure to that in 2017.

The same picture emerges when testing the backup solution for functionality. Last year, 4% of respondents tested whether the backup and the associated hardware functioned properly daily.  24% tested weekly and 35% once a month. In 2017, 27 percent tested the backup environment on a weekly basis and 32 percent on a monthly basis. So the picture is similar here too.

So, how is it that in 2018 the number of data losses fell sharply from 19.5% to 13%, but the backup frequency and control remained almost the same?

We think that it has to do with the backup storages used. Compared to 2017, significantly more backups were stored on the cloud and online servers last year - increasing from 20% to 38%. At the same time, there was a further sharp increase in USB storage for backup purposes from around 9% in 2017 to 18% in 2018. In addition, the share of tape backups has remained virtually unchanged from around 10% to 9%. All in all, users have shifted significantly to cloud backups and thus outsourced their risk. At the same time, many users - almost 18% - have stated that they use a separate NAS for a backup and thus - if the data recovery functions of the NAS are correctly set up and functioning - have significantly reduced the risk of data loss.

Despite this positive development, the results of this survey should not lull any computer user into a false sense of security.

We advise all computer users not only to use a backup solution but to also check it regularly.

In the event of a serious loss of data, it is better to contact a professional data rescuer such as Ontrack to prevent further serious system failures or irreparable data loss.

The Ontrack Survey was conducted in the USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and France. A total of 810 participants took part.