Friday, March 31, 2017

Survey: Users lose data despite backup

Marking World Backup Day 2017, the latest survey by Kroll Ontrack shows that deploying a backup solution will not prevent users from losing data. Over the last year, nearly one-third of respondents experienced data loss.

Minneapolis – March 31, 2017 – Most businesses and consumers now routinely make complete and comprehensive backups of their data (75 percent), according to the latest customer survey by Ontrack, the leading provider of data recovery and ediscovery.

The survey results highlight growing popularity of cloud-based backups with around twice as many users (about 33 percent) as last year (16 percent) reporting they make backups online. However, despite growing use of digital solutions tape backup is also experiencing a surge in popularity: 17 percent of businesses and consumers back-up their data on tape, up from about 8 percent in 2016.

Yet despite growing use of various backup solutions, around one third of the 1,000 surveyed customers in North America, Europe and Australia reported experiencing data loss. The majority of companies who experienced data loss did have a backup solution in place at the time of the incident. A quarter of respondents also reported that their backup failed to work properly. Of the users who experienced data loss and had access to a backup, 67 percent said they were able to restore almost all their data, while another 13 percent were able to restore up to three quarters. 12 percent reported that the backup was corrupted and just under 3 percent were able to restore only a small proportion of their data.

One explanation for losing data despite having a back-up solution in place could be the physical storage and process used. For example, important data can easily be lost if relevant devices are unintentionally omitted from backup procedures. To ensure there is no oversight, users should ensure relevant mobile media such as phones or notebooks are connected to a backup server.

Of users reporting that they have no backup solution in place only around 7 percent believe their data is secure without a backup. When asked why they chose to forego a back-up solution, around 14 per cent of respondents worldwide said the quest for the right backup solution and the expense of managing the solution once installed, entailed too much work.

The study also showed that three-quarters of all backups are performed unencrypted. Compared to the United Kingdom, where nearly half of survey respondents encrypt their backups, respondents in the U.S. (around 34 percent) perform relatively poorly.

In the U.S.,  42 percent of respondents said they back-up daily, compared to 44 percent of survey respondents based in countries other than the U.S.  More than 18 percent of respondents back up their data once per week, and almost 16 percent once per month. Only around 4 percent said they backup data once annually.

When asked about how frequently respondents test back-ups to make sure they’re properly set-up, 24 percent of respondents admit to never testing back-ups; the same percentage of respondents said they test backups at least once per week. 30 percent test back-ups once per month and just under 14 percent once per year.

Ontrack offers the following basic guidelines to businesses and consumers on how to achieve positive backup results:

  • Set up a backup schedule that covers all relevant devices and media
  • Verify that backups function correctly and that they run in accordance with the determined schedule
  • Regularly check data backup systems to identify any errors
  • Test backups on a regular basis to validate that data is complete and intact

For more information about data backups and how to proceed in the event of data loss, visit

About Ontrack, LLC

Ontrack provides technology-enabled services and software to help law firms, corporations, government agencies and consumers solve complex data challenges. Part of the KLDiscovery brand, Ontrack provides market leading data recovery for any type of media – hard drives, SSD, server, RAID, virtual, cloud, mobile, tape, NAS/SAN/DAS, laptop, desktop computers and Apple devices. Additionally, through proprietary technologies and expert services around the globe, Ontrack helps clients with email extraction, tape management and data destruction. For more information about Kroll Ontrack offerings, please visit Or follow @KrollOntrack on Twitter.


Media Contact: Jennifer Duits, 952-906-4868, 

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