Half of Small Firms Fail to Back Up Data
More than half of small businesses are at risk of losing critical information by failing to back up company data, research from communications firm Unicom has found.
A Unicom survey of 800 small firms revealed that 55 per cent did not back up their data at all, leaving themselves completely unprotected. The remainder used different back-up methods, with 14 per cent choosing to back up their files to another PC, six per cent backing up online, five per cent using tape storage for back up files, and 20 per cent using another method.
A lack of know-how by firms and the perceived ‘hassle-factor’ were the two main reasons for not backing up company files, according to the poll.
But data stored on work computers was often ‘crucial’ to the running of the company, Unicom’s head of operations, Chris Earle, warned.
“A software glitch or even a wrong click of a mouse and all information could be irrecoverable,” he said. “That could be the accumulation of years of data — imagine having to manually recover or replace it,” added Earle.
IT services firm Weald’s managing director, Mike Nelson, urged firms to treat backing up seriously.
“Losing business-critical databases, such as delivery information, customer details and invoicing, is likely to be devastating for any firm. In the worst case scenario, data loss could close the company completely,” he said.
“Ideally, firms should be making a full back-up each evening, and tapes should be stored securely off-site in a fire-proof container,” he added. “If the worst should happen, you will want to be able to produce those tapes and fully restore all the information that is valuable to you. You should also expand your back-up facility as the company grows, and remember that the more transactions you make as a company, the more you need to protect your critical business data.”
Nelson said that not having a back-up scheme in place could also impact on insurance premiums.
“A lot more insurance providers are starting to ask more intense questions around back-up policies,” he said. “If you haven’t got a sensible scheme in place, you may well find that premiums are more expensive.”
To find out more about data back-up read Data Loss: Protect your Business against Data Loss.