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Half of businesses risk severe data loss, Fasthosts research shows
Sat, 30th Mar 2024

Recent research from Fasthosts warns that almost half (48 percent) of businesses may be ill-prepared to prevent severe data losses. The implications of substantial data loss go beyond a simple inconvenience; these situations can have disastrous outcomes, staining reputations and causing costly financial damage.

In our increasingly digital world, data is rapidly becoming one of the most precious commodities. High-profile cases of data mishaps, including the near-complete loss of Pixar's Toy Story 2, GitLab's problematic deletion of productive data, and the loss of crucial county records in Ohio, vividly demonstrate the potential dangers faced by organisations lacking robust backup measures.

An accidental command from an animator can delete months of work on a hit movie, a system administrator might inadvertently abolish live production data, and an IT company might overlook certain safety measures resulting in the loss of essential records. The implications of these can range from frustrating to ruinous.

Ideally, backup measures put a halt to operations in the event of data loss. Yet, for some organisations, such a pause is outright catastrophic; it can even signify the end of business. Others might survive the initial shock only to undergo an expensive and drawn-out recovery process, dealing with data theft, reputational harm, and missed opportunities.

Justin Bateman, Senior Product Manager at Fasthosts, expressed his concern about this situation. He said, "It’s incredibly worrying that half of organisations may lack the necessary backup measures to prevent a data crisis. It’s a bit like half of drivers on roads having no insurance." He drew attention to the significance of this year's World Backup Day pledge, which encourages businesses and individuals to adequately protect their important documents, acknowledging that "just one small oversight or hiccup can unleash chaos."

In highlighting the possible repercussions of backup mishaps, Bateman referred to recent events, such as the IT outage at Sainsbury's, which resulted from a minor software update. He warned, "Even a tiny software update can result in an organisation grinding to a halt. Most data loss incidents don’t have a happy ending." He urged businesses to ensure their backup measures were activated and functioning efficiently and stressed the importance for those without these provisions to invest in securing their data before it is too late.

Data loss has severe implications on both a financial and reputational level. However, through sufficient awareness and careful planning, businesses can ensure their vital data is secure and protected.