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Data loss and downtime cost enterprises $1.7 trillion in the last twelve months, a new report said. On top of that, data loss is up by 400 percent since 2012 while, 71 percent of organizations are still not fully confident in their ability to recover after a disruption.

While that all may be sobering news, there is a bright light shining and that is the number of data loss incidents is decreasing overall. The flip side of that is, however, the volume of data lost during an incident is growing exponentially, according to the report by EMC Corp.

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Here are some key facts:
• 64 percent of enterprises surveyed experienced data loss or downtime in the last 12 months
• The average business experienced more than three working days (25 hours) of unexpected downtime in the last 12 months
• Other commercial consequences of disruptions were loss of revenue (36 percent) and delays to product development (34 percent)

Business trends, such as Big Data, mobile and hybrid cloud create new challenges for data protection:
• 51 percent of businesses lack a disaster recovery plan for any of these environments and 6 percent have a plan for all three
• In fact, 62 percent rated big data, mobile and hybrid cloud as “difficult” to protect
• With 30 percent of all primary data located in some form of cloud storage, this could result in substantial loss

Cyber Security

Adopting advanced data protection technologies dramatically decreases the likelihood of disruption. That means companies turn to multiple IT vendors to solve their data protection challenges. However, a siloed approach to deploying these can increase risks:
• Enterprises that have not deployed a continuous availability strategy were twice as likely to suffer data loss as those that had.
• Businesses using three or more vendors to supply data protection solutions lost three times as much data as those who unified their data protection strategy around a single vendor.
• Those enterprises with three vendors were also likely to spend an average of $3 million more on their data protection infrastructure compared to those with just one.

EMC Data Protection Index survey participants gained points based on their responses, ranking their data protection maturity in one of four categories:
• The vast majority – 87 percent — of businesses rank in the bottom two categories for data protection maturity
• Globally 13 percent rank ahead of the curve, with 11 percent classed as “Adopters” and 2 percent considered “Leaders”
• China has the greatest number of companies ahead of the curve (30 percent) and the UAE the least (0 percent)

Very large enterprises of more than 5,000 employees were twice as likely (24 percent) to be ahead of the curve than smaller enterprises of 250-449 employees (12 percent); companies in the U.S. and The Netherlands were the greatest leaders outside of Asia Pacific and Japan (at 20 percent and 21 percent respectively).

“This research highlights the enormous monetary impact of unplanned downtime and data loss to businesses everywhere,” said Guy Churchward, president of EMC Core Technologies. “With 62% of IT decision-makers interviewed feeling challenged to protect hybrid cloud, big data and mobile, it’s understandable that almost all of them lack the confidence that data protection will be able to meet future business challenges. We hope the global data protection index will prompt IT leaders to pause and reevaluate whether their current data protection solutions are in alignment with today’s business requirements as well as their long term goals.”

EMC Global Data Protection Index, conducted by Vanson Bourne, surveyed 3,300 IT decision makers from mid-size to enterprise-class businesses across 24 countries.

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