As World Backup Day 2019 has come and gone, Acronis surveyed both individuals and business users in 11 countries around the globe regarding backup habits, cyberthreat awareness, and data loss experiences. 2019 was the first year they polled business professionals regarding their knowledge and data protection habits as well. Surprisingly or not, the discoveries of this year’s World Backup Day Survey revealed notable contradictions between consumer beliefs and practical choices, as well as an interesting contrast between the value people and businesses place on their data’s value and the steps they take to protect it. Here is what they found…
To start off, and to get a better understanding what personal users and professionals most value in a backup, Acronis asked their respondents which of the five vectors of cyber protection– safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security- was most important to their goals. The majority of consumers ranked “accessibility” (rapid access to backups that are affordable and easy-to-use) as their top priority in a backup solution. However, there was an unfortunate low awareness of cyberthreats. Alternately, businesses ranked “safety” (reliable backups that keep all data complete and recovery-ready) as their most important backup feature, which would be a result of the many high profile data breaches and ransomware attacks in recent years.
- 46 percent of consumers do not know what ransomware is, but 61 percent of businesses are concerned or highly concerned about ransomware
- 53 percent of consumers do not know what cryptojacking is, 60 percent of businesses are concerned or highly concerned about cryptojacking
- 53 percent of consumers do not know what social engineering attacks are, but 61 percent of businesses are concerned or highly concerned about social engineering attacks
Between this lack of education and consumers desire for convenience, affordability, and ease-of-use above all other features, it becomes understandable that they would choose a local backup plan over an external drive or USB. These consumers may not understand how simple and accessible backing up to the cloud can be. On the other hand, the governance offered by cloud services is undoubtedly a key motivator for defense against these cyberthreats for businesses. However, businesses that exclusively rely on cloud backups may discover that even the most sophisticated cloud storage can’t offer the speed, reliability, and peace of mind that comes from hybrid backup procedures.
Another interesting find is that backups are up, but so is data loss. People are accessing their data from more places than ever before due to an increase in the number of devices per user, the opportunities to lose data also increase with this growth. Although people may back up their laptop, for instance, they may fail to back up their smartphone, leaving the door open to data loss through these additional devices. While almost all consumers and businesses backed up their devices this year, significant portions still lost data:
- 93 percent of consumers and 97 percent of businesses back up their data at least once a year. Of those, 73 percent of consumers perform backups monthly or weekly and 86 percent of businesses perform backups monthly, weekly, or daily.
- Despite that backup, 65 percent of consumers (or their immediate family) lost data from a computer or mobile device and 29 percent of businesses suffered a data loss event that led to downtime.
Based on the responses, consumers rely on more devices in their daily lives and claim to value the data on these devices, but they aren’t taking sufficient steps to adequately ensure their data is safe. They overwhelmingly store their backups locally, but few use the cloud to keep an off-site copy as required by the best practice 3-2-1 rule of backup. Interestingly, the vast majority of businesses aren’t following the 3-2-1 rule either, but for a different reason. They almost exclusively rely on cloud backups without keeping a local copy for fast, convenient recoveries.
- 45 percent of consumers have more than four devices at home
- 70 percent of consumers would pay between $50 and $500 to recover their lost information
- 90 percent of consumers and 73 percent of businesses don’t back up to a hybrid of local and cloud storage destinations.
With all these findings in mind, Acronis has some cyber protection recommendations for World Backup Day and beyond. Whether you are concerned about personal files or securing your company’s business continuity, Acronis has four simple recommendations to help protect your data:
- Always create backups of important data. Keep copies of the backup both locally (so it’s available for fast, frequent recoveries) and in the cloud (to guarantee you have everything if a fire, flood, or disaster hits your facilities).
- Ensure your operating system and software are current. Older versions of your OS and apps lack the bug fixes and security patches that help block cybercriminals from gaining access to your systems.
- Beware suspicious email, links, and attachments. Most virus and ransomware infections are the result of social engineering techniques that trick unsuspecting individuals into opening infected email attachments or clicking on links to websites that host malware.
- Install anti-virus software and enable automatic updates so your system is protected against common, well-known malware strains. Windows user should confirm that their Windows Defender is turned on and up-to-date.
Acronis’ 2019 World Backup Day Survey provides an interesting insight into the mindset and habits that consumers and business users from around the world have regarding data protection and the latest cyber threats. Clearly, both groups are aware of the need for backups, but there are gaps in how to best protect their data or where the latest threats to their data may come from. Continuous education seems to be an important consideration to improve data protection. Looking to learn more? Contact Lifeboat for solutions!
Read Acronis’ full analysis of their 2019 World Backup Day Survey results here.