When it comes to security breaches, IT has its own version of “the greatest hits” and a recent survey of IT pros by backup company, Quantum, found that some of the most popular ones had changed since the last survey in 2010.
Surprisingly of the 500 IT professionals surveyed, only 1 in 4 reported security incidents in 2011. That seems low to me given how widespread security breaches seem to be, and that this survey includes such issues as hardware and operating system failure among the data security problems. Not sure I would include those as a security issue per se, but that’s how one company defined it.
Of those reporting security issues, the very top of the hit parade as you might expect sits the old chestnut viruses. Fifty percent of survey respondents who reported an incident, reported having to deal with virus attacks last year, up from 48 percent in the 2010 survey. Hardly surprising given virus protection at the IT level can only go so far. All it takes is one employee to blow your carefully crafted security plan, and with individuals across the world creating new ones on a regular basis, it’s really hard to stay on top of this.
But that was a minor increase, probably statistically even. Operating system failure jumped from 27 percent to 48 percent, and increase of 21 percent. Now that’s significant.
More traditional security issues like hacking grew from 19 percent to 27 percent with lost or stolen devices rising from 20 to 27 percent in 2011. Interestingly enough, natural disaster was down from 21 percent in 2010 to 15 percent last year (which again seems odd given the sheer number of freakish storms we seem to have had in the last couple of years).
You can see the rest of the results in the chart below:
Regardless of the reason, there was broad agreement that when a disaster strikes, and there is a data loss, it can have a huge impact on the business with 66 percent reporting a significant stoppage of day-to-day business, 65 percent reporting loss of income or business and 63 percent stating the loss required significant resources to restore.
The lesson here is that when you have a data loss, there is a significant cost to the business in lost revenue and money spent in the recovery process.
A good backup policy can of course help mitigate disaster in many cases. And given that this survey was conducted by a backup company, that conclusion is hardly surprising. The survey tells a story that puts the business in the best possible light, which is typical of these types of vendor-driven surveys, but it’s also true that having a good backup policy can save your butt in the event of a disaster.
The survey was conducted during February of this year by an unnamed third-party company. It consisted of 500 IT pros from companies with at least 100 employees. Smaller companies were filtered out of the survey.