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Survey: Small Businesses Ignore Data Security

(6/3/2014)

Have you backed up your business today? If you said no, you’re not alone. A new survey of information technology professionals revealed that only 32% of small businesses had backed up their data on the day they were polled; 15% hadn’t backed up their systems that month. However, 40% of the IT workers surveyed believe their company would go out of business if it permanently lost its files, and 58% say their company is not very prepared to experience any amount of data loss.

Data protection company Carbonite, in conjunction with National Small Business Week, recently released the 2014 Report on the State of Data Backup for Small and Medium Businesses to highlight the need for better electronic file storage practices. The survey compiled responses from 500 IT professionals at companies in the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees.

“While data protection may be top of mind for IT, this report demonstrates why protecting data files should be a company-wide concern and policy,” said David Friend, co-founder and CEO at Carbonite. “Beyond just the financial impact of data loss, most business owners don’t realize how data loss can affect other aspects of their business, including their employees.”

Of the IT professionals polled, 62% had experienced data loss, with 33% reporting lost profits as a result. Those surveyed believe it would cost their companies an average of $468,610 in revenue if they lost all their data. Besides the financial impact, lost data also affected office morale and employees’ work-life balance. Several IT workers reported that data loss resulted in employees being fired or quitting, or in the IT department becoming micro-managed.

Few of the IT workers surveyed expressed concern that outside forces would exploit their systems and steal data, with only 22% deeming that possibility likely. Only 54% of respondents said they encrypted more than half of their backup data, while 10% do not encrypt any of their data, despite the continued corporate data breaches making national headlines in recent months.



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