Backup confidence on the up and up

In all of the doom and gloom that often dominates the news around security, it is to be welcomed when there are stats surfacing to buck that trend

New research from business continuity and disaster recovery firm Databarracks has revealed that organisational confidence in IT backup capabilities has risen dramatically over the past decade. In fact, more than 50% of organisations feel 'very confident' in the state of their backup solutions, which is up from 33% in 2008. It's the kind of positive we need more of, as a counterbalance to the all too many breaches that make the headlines.

First released 10 years ago, the Data Health Check surveys over 400 IT decision-makers on a range of topics relating to IT practices within their business. Notable highlights from this year's survey include:

• Confidence in backup solutions has risen significantly since 2008. An 18% point increase means 51% of participants are now very confident in their backup capabilities
• This increased confidence is against a backdrop of growing data volumes, with 29% of organisations (from 12% in 2008) handling over 100TBs of data
• In 2008, 47% of organisations had not encrypted their backup data. This fell to 33% in 2018
• The average frequency of restores has stayed fairly consistent over the years. Additionally, restore testing has decreased, with those 'not testing' dropping from 20% in 2008 to 15% in 2018.

Commenting on these highly pertinent findings, Peter Groucutt, managing director of Databarracks, had this to say: "Considering macro trends in IT over the past 10 years - the explosion of data, ever increasing cyber threats, the emergence of cloud and with it the shift to greater mobile and remote working - it's easy to see where strains are being placed on an organisation's backup capabilities and why confidence might be shaken.

"Our findings show this is not the case, which is encouraging to see. More and more firms have a business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place and importantly, plans are being reviewed and regularly tested, which will breed confidence."

Groucutt also highlights other areas for organisations to address: "Despite more businesses encrypting backup data, a third of organisations not doing this is too high. Whether you're backing up data to physical media like tape or disk, or whether you're transferring data offsite, over the internet, the possibilities for it being intercepted are very real, with serious ramifications for those at fault.

"Considering it from the perspective of GDPR, while not mandating the use of encryption in the regulation itself, it does require an organisation to demonstrate its approach to compliance. If an organisation chooses not to encrypt, then a business would need to demonstrate what alternative methods it uses to safeguard data or face severe penalties."

And he concludes: "We hope the next 12 months sees confidence continue to rise in backup solutions. More regular testing of restores, as well as greater numbers of businesses adopting encryption into their backup strategies, will certainly improve this."