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British SMEs Leaving Themselves Open To Data Loss

One In Three SMEs Are Storing Backup Data On-Site


David Shirt, Press Officer | 0161 838 3094

A large number of British small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are in danger of losing important data because of poor storage practices.

According to a new study conducted by IT providers Onyx Group, one in three businesses keep their backup files on-site, which means they could lose all of their records if their building burns down or is targeted by thieves.

Not only can this cause downtime and potential loss of earnings, it could also have legal implications.

The Information Commissioner's Office continues to punish firms that have failed to safeguard their customers' details and the regulatory body can issue fines of up to £500,000 for serious breaches of the Data Protection Act.

Despite the risks, the Onyx Group research showed that less than half of UK-based SMEs back up their data and store it in a secure place away from their main building.

Chief executive officer at the company Neil Stephenson said: "The research results show that many businesses are taking unnecessary risks with data management and that could prove to be extremely costly."

Only 16 per cent of SMEs were confident their disaster recovery procedures were as effective as possible and many businesses said they had reservations about using cloud computing.

Just one in three companies had incorporated cloud solutions into their plans, with half of those who are yet to adopt the technology citing security issues and a lack of trust for their reluctance to migrate their data to the cloud.

Mr Stephenson thinks this is a big concern, as cloud-based data tends to be more secure.

"Data that is stored in the cloud is protected against theft, floods or fires and damage that can be caused due to in-house hardware failures or power surges," he remarked.

A previous study by the Chartered Management Institute had shown that IT and data problems are the biggest worry for SMEs. In fact, companies felt that data loss and downtime was more concerning than losing electricity in their office and failing to keep hold of skilled workers.

Expert Opinion
Information Technology is a huge issue for SMEs. Indeed, many company bosses realise that in order to ensure that they are as productive as possible, they not only need to ensure they have an existing IT infrastructure that works, they also need to keep a close eye on IT developments which could provide them with a competitive advantage.

“Data security is related to this and is becoming increasingly important. Not only do businesses need to ensure that their own commercial sensitive data is safe, they also need to be legally compliant also. The fines for not doing so can be considerable and it is vital that SMEs take legal advice in this area.”
Steven Beahan, Partner