Thursday, 20 August 2015

Majority of Irish organisations at risk of harmful data loss

Datapac, has published survey results which show that majority of Irish organisations are taking risks storing their data. Storing it in an unsecure location, not having a documented process in place and failing to test recovery regularly were among the risks highlighted in the research.

Findings also showed there is an average wait of 46 hours to retrieve mission critical data when lost, putting many organisations at risk of financial and reputational harm.
The survey, which was carried out among 192 IT professionals in Ireland, looked at how Irish organisations are dealing with emerging data challenges and the ‘data explosion’. The survey revealed that 93% of businesses lose data at some point and 13% never recover any of it.

Worryingly, findings also highlighted that 22% of organisations are storing backed-up data in an unsecure location. This includes storing it on-site, where it is at the same risk as primary data, or in an unsecure off-site location.

Although most businesses have data recovery systems in place, 27% never test these to ensure they are working properly. For those that do carry out testing, many do so just once per year or less.

Aside from the financial and reputational costs associated with downtime, organisations may be at further risk to non-compliance penalties. Only one third of respondents said they were very confident that their organisation could recover documents and emails over a seven-year period. A failure to be able to do so can result in non-compliance penalties totalling tens or even hundreds of thousands of euro.

44% of respondents admitted their organisations were not prepared to recover data in the event of a cyber-attack. 80% are prepared for natural disasters, such as flooding or fire, and prolonged power loss.

Research showed that the amount of data being stored by Irish organisations is increasing dramatically – in the past year alone, the average amount of data stored has increased by 42%, with this rate likely to grow further over the next few years.

Speaking about the research, Karen O’Connor, general manager service delivery, Datapac, said: “While many Irish businesses have realised the importance of being able to recover data when lost, the findings of this survey show many are lagging behind and that there are unsafe and outdated practices still in use.

“Organisations need to ask the question – what happens to my business if it loses mission critical data that can’t be recovered for 24 hours, a week, or is lost permanently. There are financial and reputational implications to consider. Downtime in a business means loss of productivity, customer service and revenue, with additional costs from non-compliance. Customers will lose trust in an organisation that mishandles their data.”

“Our advice would be for organisations to consider all elements of their data holistically and ensure that storage, backup and recovery all work in tandem. The cost of inaction is far more likely to be higher than the cost of the solutions needed, in terms of both real cost and reputational damage.”

This survey was commissioned by Datapac and carried out by TechPro magazine throughout the month of June among 192 IT professionals throughout enterprises in Ireland.

The full white paper on the research is available to download here.(http://www.datapac.com/embracing-the-data-explosion/)