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Symantec Reveals Small to Medium Business Data Protection Practices Not on Pace With Data Growth

A new independent study commissionned by Symantec finds that small and medium businesses (SMB) rate backup as their second-highest computing priority, after defense against viruses and other malware, and ahead of issues such as reducing costs and deploying new computers. Ninety-two percent of companies have deployed some form of data backup technology, yet 50 percent of those respondents have lost data. Of the companies that lost data, approximately a third have lost sales, 20 percent have lost customers and a quarter claim the data loss caused severe disruptions to the company.

"A lot of small business owners don’t think data loss can happen to them," said Susan Shea Cameron, Ed.S., BCBA, clinical director and partner, Cameron Consultation. "When the hard drives failed on our company computers, our work came to a six-week standstill, clients had to wait, meetings had to be rescheduled and we risked losing a curriculum that took 20 years to create. I now use Symantec Online Backup and will never again go through the experience of losing data that I thought was backed up."

Many companies do not back up their computers fully. About a quarter of SMBs conduct no backup of their PCs, and another 13 percent do only informal backups where employees decide the frequency and which files are protected without corporate guidance. The situation is similar for servers; about 20 percent of SMBs conduct no server backup.

When backups do occur, most backup files are not stored remotely. More than half of all backup files on PCs and servers are stored in the same location as the originals, which leaves the company vulnerable to permanent data loss. According to survey results, causes of data loss are diverse. Although natural disasters are often cited as a risk, onsite disasters are the primary contributing factor of data loss. Sixty-three percent of respondents cited hardware failure as a cause of data loss incidents, 27 percent from deliberate sabotage by employees, and 27 percent from theft.

"In a small or mid-sized business, where money and staff time are at a premium, there’s always something more pressing to do than manage backups," said Chris Schin, senior director of product management, Symantec. "As digital data volumes increase so does the risk of irrevocable harm to a company’s bottom line if that data is not protected. Our customers are looking for solutions from a trusted provider that offer simplified management and the ability to scale as their businesses grow."

Symantec Online Backup scales to provide small and mid-sized businesses with secure, affordable backup and recovery over the Internet. With Symantec Online Backup, small businesses can get the same level of secure, on-going protection expected by the Fortune 500.

Symantec commissioned Rubicon Consulting to conduct an independent survey of IT decision-makers at several hundred small businesses, of fewer than 250 employees in North America, to determine how effectively they protect their data and whether their backup practices have kept pace with the growth of their data. For more details on the survey results go to https://www4.symantec.com/Vrt/offer... or http://www.spn.com.

 [December 1, 2008]


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