Half of UK SMEs have lost data in the last five years


Nearly half (48%) of the UK’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) have lost access to data since 2019, potentially costing them billions, according to new research from Beaming.

The professional ISP surveyed 504 UK-based business leaders about their data backup and cybersecurity strategies, as well as the data loss incidents they experienced between 2019 and 2023. It then extrapolated its conclusions at the national level, taking the median cost of the incidents it encountered. studied and using government estimates of business population size.

The Beaming report, Data backup and business continuity: the good, the bad and the ugly, revealed that 15% of all UK businesses have lost data either temporarily or permanently since 2019 – which could represent more than 800,000 businesses across the country.

The causes of these losses include theft or breakdown of equipment, cybercrime, data management errors, fires and floods.

The report claims this could have cost them up to £5.3 billion ($6.7 billion) over the period in costs related to data recovery, financial penalties, lost productivity during downtime and the cost of replacing people or assets involved in incidents. However, these cost estimates did not include potential reputational damage, so the actual figure could be much higher.

Learn more about data backups: Backup repositories targeted in 93% of ransomware attacks.

Unfortunately, the report also highlights that poor backup practices are widespread. It was estimated that around half of those surveyed rely on faulty backup processes, and an additional quarter do not back up company data at all.

Backup Best Practices

Only a quarter of companies have committed to adopting best practices in backup. Radiant said this should include:

  • Systematic backup of data at off-site locations, with the company controlling the site, the backup method, and associated policies and procedures.
  • Backs up critical data at least daily, making it easier to return to business as usual after a disruptive event
  • Data backups isolated from the internet, for an added layer of protection against unauthorized access, cloud service outages and ransomware
  • Encryption of data in motion between primary and backup locations, for example via VPNs or managed networks

On the eve of World Backup Day on March 31, Beaming Managing Director Sonia Blizzard explained that a robust backup strategy is key to effective risk management and disaster planning. business continuity.

“It protects critical data, supports recovery efforts, and helps maintain a company’s resilience and reputation in the face of these challenges,” she added.

“The good news is that more and more companies are putting more effort into backing up their data than they did five years ago. The bad news is that most haven’t gone far enough, especially given the growing importance of data to businesses today. »

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