For the World Backup Day 2019 that is held on March 31, Acronis commissioned a global survey on the subject. A survey aimed at shed light on user data protection habits.

The survey shows that 65.1% of the interviewed users or a member of their family lost data. Loss occurred following unintentional elimination, failure or software problem. This represents an increase of 29.4% over last year.

According to the survey that Acronis commissioned, almost all users (92.7%) are now backing up their computers. In this, there was an increase of more than 24.1% compared to last year, the most consistent on an annual basis.

“These two results may appear incompatible at first reading: how is it possible that the percentage of data lost has increased if almost everyone backups? Explaining the meaning of these figures is not complicated. People use more devices and access their data from more locations than before, thus multiplying the opportunities to lose data. Sometimes they back up the laptop, but not the smartphone that is perhaps forgotten in taxi, causing data loss.” James Slaby, Cyber Protection Director at Acronis, commented.

Awareness of the need for backup

Acronis’s global survey was not only interviewed by consumer users but also, for the first time, by business. The growing number of CEOs, CIOs and other executives who lost their jobs as a result of data breaches, online attacks and procedural errors of the It teams prompted Acronis to integrate questions into the survey about their fears and procedures in relation to data. The addition of business users has highlighted many differences in the motivations and ways in which users and companies protect their digital resources.

The number of devices used by users is constantly increasing. Over 68.9% of individual users report having three or more devices, including computers, smartphones and tablets. It is an increase of 7.6% since 2018.

Given the amount of data used and the stories of those who lost their homes due to fires and floods, and the volume of data lost as a result of ransomware attacks and security violations, the increase in reported backups testifies to the need for protection In fact, this year only 7% said they had never backed up, a percentage that last year was 31.4%.

The survey also shows the highest value that respondents attach to their data. 69.9% report the intention to spend over $50 to recover files, photos, lost videos. Last year this percentage was less than 15%.

Personal information secure

62.7% of users keep their data in the immediate vicinity, backing up to a local external drive (48.1%) or a hard drive partition (14.6%). Only 37.4% use a cloud or hybrid approach between the cloud and the local.

The low percentage of cloud adoption is another apparent inconsistencies. Most users say that free access to data is one of the main advantages of backup. With a clear majority choosing “easy and quick access to backup data from any location” as the priority feature. Nevertheless, only a third backup the cloud, the only option that offers the ability to recover files from any location.

The type of data that most users are afraid of is the contact, password and other personal information (45.8%). Following are multimedia files such as photos, videos, music and games (38.1%).

Just under half of users are aware of potential online attacks that threaten data. Such as ransomware (46%), cryptocurricular mining malware (53%) and social engineering attacks (52%) used to spread malware. The dissemination of information on these dangers seems to have slowed down, as the number of conscious consumers has increased by only 4% in the past year.

The priorities of companies

Since a single hour of business shutdown means an average of $300,000 of missing assets, corporate users need to know the value of their data. And since it is CEOs and senior executives who have the greatest responsibility for data protection and security procedures in the aftermath of any violations, leadership is taking a proactive stance.

This explains why Acronis’ business users for the World Backup Day are now ready to protect their files, applications and systems. With a clear majority, which underlines that data security and data protection are the priority aspects, placed respectively in the first and second places.

For the first time the 2019 survey saw the participation of companies. The answers come from structures of every dimension. A 32.7% of small companies with less than 100 employees, 41% of medium-sized companies with a number of employees ranging from 101 to 999. Finally, 26.3% of large companies employing 1,000 or more people.

Regardless of size, most consider data protection a priority and then back up data every month (35.1%), every week (24.8%) or every day (25.9%). Thanks to this, 68.7% of the companies interviewed said that they did not suffer during the last year loss of data that caused periods of inactivity.

The same companies also appear to be very aware of the latest risks that their data are taking. For this reason they claim to be worried or deeply concerned about ransomware (60.6%), cryptojacking (60.1%) and social engineering attacks (61%).

Cloud is spread among companies

In practice, companies of all sizes rely on backups in the cloud. 48.3% exclusively and 26.8% by adopting a combination of local backup and cloud.

Given the concerns about security and data protection, their confidence in the cloud is understandable. The need for “reliable backups that make data always accessible for recovery” is therefore met by the backup offsite in the cloud. This ensures the survival of data even if a fire, flood or natural emergency destroys the company’s facilities.

In terms of security (“data must be protected from online threats and cybercriminals” ), the cloud is a sort of buffer that malware attacks have difficulty in violating.

Defend yourself from new attacks and protect data

As data threats continue to change at an extraordinary speed, individuals alike when companies need to adopt solutions that provide far-reaching data protection. Flexible protection to the point of including local backups, hybrids and clouds, as well as proactive backup and malware defense functions.

Acronis also offers four simple data protection tips. Whether it’s about designing personal files or defending the business continuity of the company.

1. Always have a recent backup of the most important data available. Keep copies of the backup locally (so that it is available for quick and frequent restorations) and in the cloud, to ensure you have everything you need for recovery in case a fire, flood or any emergency hits the

2. Check that operating system and software are always up to date. An outdated operating system or app is not reliable as bug fixes and security patches that help prevent cyber criminals from accessing systems are not updated.

3. Pay the utmost attention to emails, links and suspicious attachments. Most virus infections and ransomware are the result of social engineering techniques that deceive people unaware by inviting them to open infected attachments or to visit websites that host malware.

4. Install anti-virus software and activate automatic updates, so that the system is always protected against known and widespread malware strains. Windows users must keep Windows Defender up to date and active.

Acronis instruments

Acronis provides solutions for backup, active ransomware protection, disaster recovery, and secure file synchronization and sharing.

Acronis backup solutions are Acronis Backup for companies and Acronis True Image for personal use. They integrate a real-time ransomware defense based on artificial intelligence that detects and stops ransomware and automatically restores any attacking file. Only last year, informs the company, this technology has blocked over 400,000 ransomware attacks.

The latest version of this integrated defense, called Acronis Active Protection, has recently been improved. It is now able to block even cryptocurrencies mining malware.

More information on data protection is available on the Acronis website at this link.

Also for the occasion of the World Backup Day 2019, Ermes Cyber Security has compiled a handbook to secure its data. You can read it in this article.

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