Backup Statistics

Backup Statistics in 2024: Recovery & Data Loss

Published on: August 23, 2023
Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Backup Statistics in 2024: Recovery & Data Loss

Published on: August 23, 2023
Last Updated: August 23, 2023

Whether it’s personal devices and documents or from a professional standpoint, backup statistics highlight how important it is to protect our data.

Nowadays, it’s extremely easy to back up data on nearly any device.

This ensures essential documents and information are saved, even if the source file is accidentally deleted.

However, not everyone is on board with backup technology, as 75% of small businesses don’t have any kind of recovery plan if they encounter a data breach.

This is one of those scenarios where many people think they’ll never be susceptible to a damaging cyber attack.

In the same vein, it also pertains to a learning curve for some people, as they simply don’t understand how backup tech works.

This article will dive into numerous standout statistics that are centered around backup technology and how people utilize it in their personal and professional lives.

Key Statistics

  • 96% of businesses don’t back up data across all of their workstations
  • There are roughly 140,000 hard drive crashes in the U.S. on a weekly basis
  • 6% of all PCs will experience data loss in any given year
  • Professional hard drive recovery services can cost $5k to $10k
  • 60% that suffer massive data loss tend to shut down within six months of the event
  • The global average cost of a data breach is $4.45 million
  • One of the top five uses for cloud technology is to backup end-user devices
  • 20% of small to medium-sized businesses experience a data loss event every five years

A Comprehensive Look at Backup Statistics

Backup 1057

Although many people are still going through a learning curve with backup technology, it’s becoming an increasingly prevalent part of our everyday lives.

External hard drives are still very much needed, but with rapid developments in cloud technology, backing up sensitive files is easier than it has ever been.

Backing up your devices and files should be due diligence in this day and age, as it doesn’t take much to lose everything.

Most people keep many sensitive aspects of their lives on their personal devices. 

Businesses do the same thing from a professional standpoint.

It’s easier to back up your devices on a schedule than it is to try and recover from a damaging cyber attack.

There are many people who religiously back up their devices on a schedule, but statistics on this topic show that most organizations and people, in general, don’t back up their devices and digital files.

1. Most Businesses Wouldn’t be Able to Recover

In the most recent available data, it shows that 58% of organizations don’t have the funds readily available to recover from a data breach.

Not only is having no recovery plan problematic, but this is more than enough incentive to have backups in place.

On top of that, 67% of people included in this same survey have no training on the security functions needed in the event of a data breach.

Issues stemming from cyber attacks aren’t always because people aren’t interested in personal security; there’s merely a lack of education on backup technology.

However, outside of having the right education, organizations need to have funds in place to handle a company-wide data breach.

In many cases, the damages can far outweigh that rainy day fund.

For many organizations to get there, it’ll require more education on data security and the tools that are available to ward off cyber attacks.


2. Backing up Data to the Cloud

When it comes to backing up data in our modern era, many people prefer to use cloud technology to get the job done.

31% of backups on PCs and other end-user devices go to the cloud.

In many cases, there’s more than enough storage here, and cloud tech generally offers multi-layer security, so there usually isn’t much to worry about.

A lot of this has to do with ease of use, as it eliminates the need for a physical external hard drive.

One of the stark differences, though, is the amount of space that’s available.

External hard drives are capable of offering much more storage space, whereas cloud tech comes with quite a few limitations in comparison.

Of course, there’s also the risk of leaving all of your digital files on a digital platform.

With an external hard drive, you have something physical that only you could possibly have access to.

For those using cloud tech to back up their devices, they still have to worry about the possibility of an account or data breach.


3. Data Loss is on the Rise

People are starting to notice that cyber attacks are becoming more common with each passing year.

At this point, most people pretty much expect them to happen at any given time.

Statistics show that 67% of businesses are confident they’ll encounter a data breach event within at least a year.

Not only does this stem from previous experiences, but data breaches have become so common that many organizations have just expected that they’ll get hit at some point.

Backing up data is a surefire way to guarantee you don’t lose everything in a breach.

It gives you the ability to store all sensitive information in a separate area.

Some of your business’s information may have been taken, but at least you didn’t lose access to it yourself.


4. The Cost of no Backup Recovery Plan

There are many organizations that don’t have any kind of recovery plan in the event of a cyber attack.

On top of that, 96% of businesses don’t back up data across their workstations, leaving them wide open for massive data loss.

Statistics highlight, clear as day, the many costs associated with not having a recovery plan for businesses that don’t back up their data.

  • The average cost of downtime due to a data breach is $5,600 every minute
  • Hardware/system failure accounts for 31% of data loss instances, human error is 29%, and viruses account for 29%
  • One study highlights that only 6% of companies that don’t back up their data and don’t have a recovery plan survived in the long-term

In our tech-driven world, we don’t have the luxury of not backing up our data anymore.

Considering a significant portion of it can be considered quite sensitive, businesses simply shouldn’t risk it.

Thankfully, backing up data is extremely easy nowadays.

Depending on how much data you’re trying to move, it may take some time, but it can be a lifesaver on a bad day.


5. What are the Most Popular Data Backup Options?

No one has to worry about a learning curve when it comes to backup technology.

It’s relatively easy to figure out and comes with varying features and efficiencies that cater to different needs.

Some of the most common solutions are external hard drives and cloud tech, but there’s more than that available on the market.

Data Backup SolutionDescription
Removable MediaThis category pertains to CDs, flash drives, and DVDs. It’s known for a relatively limited storage capacity compared to other modern solutions. Data transfer speeds tend to be somewhat slow, and it isn’t the best option for large volumes of data.
External Hard DriveOffers great storage space and portability. Many people prefer them for their size, ease of use, and tangible security.
RedundancyThis term entails focusing on multiple data copies for additional layers of safety. It’s a great option for those looking to reduce the risk of hardware failure, data breaches, and more.
Cloud Backup ServicesCloud backup services are extremely popular, with benefits like ease of access, remote data storage, and cost-efficiency. This is also a highly scalable solution, making it effective for growing businesses.
Hardware AppliancesSpecifically built and dedicated to data backup and storage, these offer support for different types of data storage. It can be a very costly solution and difficult to manage, transfer or scale over time.
Backup SoftwareBackup software is a go-to solution for the automation and optimization of data backups. From free tools to more advanced options for larger organizations, it’s great for automation, quick recovery, and managing multiple backup destinations.

Business owners who are just now diving into this topic might feel a bit overwhelmed, but a lot of this considers personal preference.

The different backup solutions above all serve the same purpose; they just go about it in different ways.

Businesses have to discern what works best in their interest while ensuring their data remains safe at all times.

As with many different types of technology, backup tech isn’t flawless 100% of the time.

Sometimes it fails and can generate its fair share of problems if the technology fails for any reason.

Statistics show us that this happens from time to time, with some backup solutions clearly being more problematic than others.


Changing Tides in Data Backup Technology

Backup 1103

Technology isn’t always perfect, and this can cause some problems when it comes to backing up sensitive information.

Data breaches are a hot topic regarding data security, but technology failures lead to a surprising number of data complications on their own.

There’s quite a bit you can do to help avoid this issue, but sometimes, the event is merely out of your hands.

If anything, it’s another great example of why having backup recovery plans is so vital.

Nowadays, having backups on top of your backups is the status quo, as you never want to put all of your eggs in one basket.

6. Hard Drive Failure Rate

It doesn’t happen very often, but hard drives can fail from time to time.

The most recent available data shows us that hard drives fail roughly at a rate of 0.93%.

Once again, you never want to take the attitude of “it’ll never happen to me” because that’s karma waiting to happen.

This is the purpose behind having multiple backups. If one fails or becomes corrupted, you have another one ready to go.

You could argue that managing backups like this can feel tasking, and you aren’t necessarily wrong here.

However, the damage done by a cyber attack will cause much more distress than having to manage a couple of backup devices.

Many people don’t consider this angle, but hard drives also come with a lifespan.

In a worst-case scenario, an old hard drive could “die” of old age and refuse to work.

At this point, any data inside could be potentially lost due to this issue.

It’s known that most hard drives tend to last five to 10 years.


7. How Many Businesses Use Cloud Backup Services?

Even though there are numerous backup technology solutions available, cloud tech is becoming the increasingly popular choice among most businesses.

Its ease of use, adaptability, and numerous service providers are great selling points for business owners of all types.

On average, 84% of organizations are using cloud backup technology, and this percentage is increasing as time moves on.

You can break this average down between different sizes of companies as well.

Small businesses have the highest adoption rate for cloud backup, sitting at 93%.

Mid-sized organizations are at 82%, and large businesses are just below that at 81%.

It’s evident that organizations as a whole understand the benefits that cloud technology can deliver.

It’s also one of the most seamless user experiences when it comes to backing up data.


8. The Impact of Data Loss

When you look at the percentage of businesses that burn out after substantial data loss, you’ll see why cyber attacks are so scary for any kind of organization.

Keep in mind data loss can happen in many different ways.

Whether it’s a data breach, someone from the inside, or an accident, data loss can present itself in a variety of forms.

For example, one statistic shows that 30% of all businesses that have a major fire and experience data loss go out of business in under a year.

It takes only five years or less for the other 70%.

It doesn’t matter how the data loss occurs; it can cause rapid or trickling damages that may be impossible to come back from.

Another testimony to the importance of recovery plans and having multiple backup solutions in place.

Never rely on one backup technology to protect all of your sensitive documents and information.


9. A History of Unexpected Data Loss

Millions of people have gone through experiences of data loss that have served as a life lesson they’ll never forget.

31% of PC users who didn’t back up their computers have experienced data loss that occurred due to events beyond their control.

This is what a data breach can feel like, as the actions can be so fast that you aren’t even sure what happened before the data is already stolen.

Of course, this doesn’t account for users on other operating systems, but it still highlights how common the issue still is in today’s world.

At the end of the day, having at least one backup solution for your personal documents is vital.

However, taking a multi-step approach to your security is always your best bet for success.

There are many events that are entirely out of your hands that could lead to abrupt data loss.

With backups in place, you never have to worry about these happening, but you do have to make sure your backups are updated with your most recent files on a consistent basis.


10. Backups Defend Against Service Outages

A prime example of an unexpected occurrence that can cause a lot of downtime is service outages can lead to data loss in an instant.

Without backups in place, these outages can lead to damages that go beyond a few hours of downtime in the workflow.

Even with new backup tools hitting the market, this still seems to be a pretty persistent issue.

Lost data as a result of an outage has averaged around 30% for responding organizations between 2016 and 2019.

This falls into the same category of technology isn’t perfect 100% of the time.

There will be moments when it fails, which is why every business should have more than one backup that’s current at all times.


How Different Demographics Are Using Backup Solutions

Backup 1105

The complications stemming from a data breach can look quite different when you compare what individuals and organizations go through.

Unfortunately, many data breaches have led to millions of people being impacted, as some businesses hold a lot of their customer’s sensitive information.

Nevertheless, backup solutions benefit everyone, but statistics show some interesting data points based on the demographic you look at.

The way individuals and businesses utilize backup solutions are not the same, generally due to the scale of the information they’re managing.

11. Most Consumers Don’t Take a Hybrid Approach to Backup Storage

As mentioned earlier in this article, having more than one backup solution on hand is essential.

Most people tend to stick to one backup method.

Although this seems like enough with thorough passwords or even multi-factor authentication, it still isn’t enough.

When you consider that 45% of consumers have more than four devices at home, you have a lot of information stored in one place.

The last thing you want to do is keep it all stored in one place. 

90% of consumers don’t back up their files with a hybrid storage method, and the same goes for 73% of organizations.

This is a pretty risky decision and could lead to disaster if that sole method is compromised for any reason.

Working with internal storage and two different backup solutions is a great starting point when storing multiple copies of your data.


12. People are Spending More on Data Recovery

The presence and ongoing status of data breaches have become pretty common knowledge among the general public.

This awareness has led to many people searching for better ways to protect their personal information.

Aside from taking safety precautions through data backup methods, people are also looking at data recovery options.

  • Roughly 75% of users admitted that their budget toward data recovery increased in 2018
  • 21% of these individuals admitted that this increase was quite significant
  • More than 10% of users are using five cloud backup solutions or more within their organizations
  • 70% of people would spend anywhere between $50 and $500 to recover lost or stolen data

Everyone is on a rocky path to data security, as it’s a rapidly growing fight that evolves at a pace that can be hard to keep up with.

Nevertheless, the solutions are there, and people are starting to see the importance of investing in data security to protect themselves in our modern age.


13. Backups Protect Businesses from Cyber Attacks

Backup 1102

To clarify, this doesn’t protect an organization from the cyber attack from happening, but they can be rest assured that they still have their hands on the data that was stolen.

Of course, recovery measures should still be in place, but the data isn’t necessarily lost in this scenario.

It’s known that 96% of businesses with backups and a recovery plan in place are prone to survive many different kinds of cyber attacks.

These companies came prepared for the worst-case scenario, and it worked out for them in the end.

Organizations without this action plan have a high chance of failure in a short amount of time.

Data breaches are no joke, especially when the volume of data stolen is usually a large amount.

This makes for a digital paper trail that can be almost impossible to follow.

It can also take months, if not years, to bounce back from a cyber attack without having an actionable recovery plan.


The Bottom Line

We all wish data breaches would just disappear, but that isn’t the reality we live in.

The best we can do is protect ourselves, which means getting educated about data security and the available backup solutions.

It may not work perfectly 100% of the time, but it acts as multi-layered security against potential cyber-attacks.

This article has highlighted many different angles on backup statistics to display the importance of the practice and the development of the associated technology.


WebTribunalCloudianBoston Computing

Stay on top of the latest technology trends — delivered directly to your inbox, free!

Subscription Form Posts

Don't worry, we don't spam

Written by Trevor Cooke

Trevor Cooke is an accomplished technology writer with a particular focus on privacy and security. He specializes in topics such as VPNs, encryption, and online anonymity. His articles have been published in a variety of respected technology publications, and he is known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible manner.