Recently, The Wall Street Journal published an article reporting a disturbing trend of inadequate data backup and security practices among small businesses. Based on an annual report released by Carbonite Inc. (a leading provider of backup and recovery solutions for businesses), WSJ reported surprising statistics regarding data risk. According to the Carbonite survey, while 40 percent of IT business professionals working for small businesses believe that it’s likely that their companies would go out of business due to a permanent data loss, 58 percent of those have done little if anything to prepare for such an event.

WSJ reports five key takeaways from the survey:

  1. Of those surveyed, 62 percent of SMB IT professionals had experienced data loss, and 33 percent of those reported profit loss as a result. In terms of projected revenue loss due to a data failure, the IT pros believed it would cost their companies an average of $468,610.
  2. A whopping 62 percent of those IT techs surveyed had experienced some form of data loss in their careers, with 33 percent citing profit loss and 32 percent reporting a missed business opportunity as a result.
  3. Data security was not a huge concern among SMB IT professionals. In fact, only 22 percent thought the likelihood of an outside threat was either “very likely” or “somewhat likely,” and 78 percent thought it was “somewhat unlikely” or “very unlikely.” In addition, only 54 percent of respondents said they encrypted more than half of their data files, and 10 percent did not encrypt any of their backup data.
  4. Only 32 percent of respondents reported that they had completed a backup on the day of the survey, and nearly 50 percent had backed up their files in the past week. A startling 15 percent reported that their most recent backup was up to a month old.
  5. Of those who do back up electronically, they do so more frequently than those using other backup methods. Nearly two-thirds said they back up anywhere from 75 to 100 percent of their documents, and another 22 percent back up between 50 and 75 percent of data. Only 15 percent of this group reported that they did so for less than half of their documents and files. However, only around 37 percent of SMBs currently use cloud-based backup while around 70 percent are still using NAS and server backups.

Carbonite’s 2014 Report on the State of Data Backup for SMBs is based on a survey of 500 IT professionals at companies in the U.S. with fewer than 100 employees.


Hansen, Parker. “The State of Data Backup for SMBs in 2014.” Small Biz Daily. 6/17/14.

Market Watch. “Report on State of Data Backup for SMBs Reveals Inadequate Data Backup Practices.” The Wall Street Journal. 5/12/14.