Users back up data, but still lose it

Having an external hard drive isn’t enough. That’s the main message behind updated data released today from data recovery provider Kroll Ontrack.

Results from a second-annual survey of customers who lost valuable computer data shows the majority of consumers and businesses are taking steps to back up their data, but a range of minor oversights rendered those steps ineffective.

Sixty-five percent of survey respondents had a backup solution in place at the time of data loss, up from 60 percent in 2013 and of those respondents, 59 percent used an external hard drive, 15 percent had cloud backup and 10 percent used a tape backup system.

Additionally, 55 percent said they diligently backed up their data on a daily basis.

So why did they still lose their data? Regardless of the solution or backup frequency, data loss may have occurred as a result of one of the following oversights and/or failures:

• The external drive was only connected on an occasional basis; backup not automated and instead performed on demand

• The computer was not on during a scheduled backup and not configured to perform at a different time

• The backup software failed

• The backup ran out of destination space

• The backup profile did not cover all of the device requiring backup

• A file was lost before a scheduled backup occurred

“As the year-over-year survey results demonstrate, conducting backups is just step one in a complete backup strategy,” says Abhik Mitra, data recovery product manager, Kroll Ontrack.

“Regularly ensuring your backup solution works effectively and the data is accessible is also paramount.”

Findings…

Among the findings of the survey of 642 recent Ontrack Data Recovery customers across North America, Europe and Asia Pacific: 64 percent claimed losing business data (compared to 67 percent in 2013) and 36 percent experienced a personal data loss (compared to 33 percent in 2013).

Of the 35 percent (compared to 40 percent in 2013) that did not have a backup solution at the time of loss, 53 percent said they are extremely likely to seek a backup solution, followed by 36 percent that are somewhat likely.

When asked about the primary barriers that kept them from seeking a backup solution, time to research and administer a backup solution was once again the most common reason, cited by 49 percent in 2014 compared to 55 percent in 2013.

Expense of backup solution, cited by 27 percent of respondents, was the next most common barrier to leveraging a backup solution.

“With backup technology getting better in quality and price, it is no surprise we saw an uptick in the percentage of people implementing a backup solution,” Mitra adds.

“What is interesting is that those that spend time, effort and money to implement the solution still experienced data loss, proving that one needs to be extremely diligent to ensure their chosen backup method is successful.

“If all else fails, the final line of defense should include enlisting the assistance of a reputable and experienced data recovery provider.”

Do you back up your data yet still lose it? Tell us your experiences in the comments below

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