Mind-Boggling Backup Statistics for Safe & Sound 2023

Updated · May 20, 2023

Our lives heavily rely on technology and a data disaster can have serious financial consequences. Still, 75% of small businesses are not prepared with a recovery plan.

We know that “disaster” sounds like a natural phenomenon that doesn’t happen often, but man-made disasters happen all the time. In fact, backup statistics show that hardware failures are causing 45% of total downtime.

Even if you have a backup solution ready, are you sure the software will be able to restore all your data? Statistics show that 60% of data backups are incomplete and 50% of restores are unsuccessful.

That’s why we at HostingTribunal have put together this list of backup stats—so that you know what works and what doesn’t and be prepared.

Some Scary Data Disaster & Backup Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

  • 140,000 hard drive crashes happen weekly in the US.
  • Every five years, 20% of small and medium-sized businesses suffer from data loss due to a major disaster.
  • 60% of businesses going through a data loss incident will shut down within six months after that.
  • 93% of entities losing their data center for 10+ days file for bankruptcy within one year of the incident.
  • 96% of businesses don’t back up their workstations.
  • More than half of businesses don’t have enough budget to recover from data incidents.
  • 75% of small businesses lack a disaster recovery plan.
  • 93% of organizations that suffer a major data disaster and don’t have a recovery plan will go out of business within one year.

Breaches & Retainers—Backup Statistics 2022

In this section, we’ll go over some general backup statistics. We’ll mainly deal with security breaches and their consequences, as well as the ways to retain your data.

1. 67% of organizations believe they'll experience a major security breach within a year.

(Source: Black Hat) 

First, we should explain what a backup is and why you should backup your data. The answer to the first question is simple—it’s the process of making spare copies of your files and folders.

The answer to the second question is in the results of a survey conducted during the Black Hat security conference in 2017. Security breaches have numerous consequences and data loss is always among them.

2. 58% of businesses lack the budget needed to recover from the attack.

(Source: Black Hat) 

This is only one of the reasons why businesses can’t recover from data incidents. Backup statistics from the same survey also show that 67% of attendees aren’t trained to perform the security functions needed in case of a data breach.

3. 31% of PC users have lost all their data due to uncontrollable events.

(Source: Boston Computing Network)

This number clearly shows that there are instances when data loss can’t be prevented. One computer statistic from 1998 showed that 6% of all PCs were doomed to experience data loss. This number translates to around 4.6 million separate incidents, which cost around $11.8 billion at the time.

4. Companies with less than 250 employees are the victim of 31% of targeted attacks.

(Source: Ontech)

This tells us that small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) are especially endangered—40% of those that have their own network will be attacked by hackers. What’s worse, 50% of them won’t even notice the attack.

Small business data breach statistics also tell us that 20% of SMEs will lose critical data due to a major disaster every five years.

5. 93% of businesses whose data center is out of order for 10+ days filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster.

(Source: Sherweb.com)

Such backup stats seem even more alarming when we add that 50% of businesses left without a data center for the same period filed for bankruptcy right away.

6. 75% of IT managers who had a backup system in place couldn’t restore all of the lost data.

(Source: Sherweb.com)

From the 57% who have a backup in place, three thirds couldn’t recover the entire information. And 23% of people with a backup solution couldn’t restore any data at all.

Even computer backup companies will tell you that 60% of backups are incomplete and around half of the data restores can fail. To avoid that, you should test your backups at least once a month.

7. 93% of DraaS users report that its performance is acceptable.

(Source: UniTrends)

This entry in our backup stats shows that cloud-based Disaster Recovery as a Service is becoming increasingly popular and widely accepted. Only 7% of users reported that the process takes too long or that their cloud backups failed.

8. There are 140,000 hard drive failures weekly in the US alone.

(Source: Small Business Trends) 

But how often should a business back up its data? Usually, that depends on the nature and scope of the company. But one look at this fact suggests that you should do it at least once a week. Of course, daily backups would be ideal. 

9. 86% of businesses back up their data daily, monthly, or weekly.

(Source: Acronis)

Acronis, one of the leading data backup companies, conducts a survey every year for the world backup day. This data from 2019 shows the frequency of backups. When it comes to consumers, 75% make backups weekly or monthly. The figures are higher for yearly backups—97% of businesses and 93% of consumers.

10. Less than 10% of businesses back up their data each day.

(Source: Sherweb.com)

How often should a business back up its data? Well, the frequency of backups depends on the nature and scope of the company. But only with daily backups, you’ll completely avoid the risk of losing valuable time and resources, not to mention reputation.

Safe Zones & Wrong Turns—Types of Data Backups

This section is dedicated to different types of data backups, from storage options to the very nature of the backup sessions. We’ll mention some of the advantages and flaws of each option, but we’ll mainly focus on understanding the differences.

But first—what are the 3 types of backup?

There are full, differential, and incremental backups. With the former, you copy an entire data set. In the second case, you only copy alterations and additions since the most recent full backup. And with the latter, you copy alterations and additions since the last backup operation of any type.

11. 40-60% of small companies without a data recovery plan go out of business.

(Source: PhoenixNAP)

Before we dive deeper into the data backup types, we’d like to address the importance of small business data recovery. The rest of the companies that succeed in recovery do so at a more extended timeframe and much higher cost than those with data and disaster recovery plans in place.

12. 93% of companies that suffer a major disaster and don’t have a recovery plan close down within a year.

(Source: PhoenixNAP) 

This stat shows that not only small businesses should realize the importance of data disaster recovery. The majority of companies without a plan in place can’t survive for more than a year after the disaster.

Now, let’s see how we can prevent this.

13. 77% of tape backups fail.

(Source: Boston Computing Network)  

We’ll start with the type of backup you should definitely avoid. As a matter of fact, statistics about tape backup solutions are incomplete as 34% of companies don’t even test their tape backups. The percentage of failed backups might be even higher.

14. The rate of hard drive failures in 2020 was 0.93%.

(Source: Backblaze) 

Although the number seems insignificant, it shows that such incidents do happen and hard drive disaster recovery is a necessity. The best solution would be to make backup copies both in a physical location and on the cloud.

15. The lifespan of a hard drive is 5-10 years.

(Source: Welivesecurity.com) 

One of the most frequent questions is how do I backup my entire computer? There is no clear winner in the local vs. cloud backup debate. But you should take a few things into account when choosing your fighter.

Full backups require a lot of space, so cloud storage is better for incremental backups. If you have a lot of data, physical locations are a better solution for full and differential backups. 

Whatever you opt for, it’s better to choose a storage solution with a lifespan of more than ten years, such as an SSD.

16. Nearly 40% of companies have over 10,000 sensitive files that are open to everyone. 

(Source: Varonis) 

This is an important part of the business data backup story. If all employees can access that many sensitive files, the chances that some of them will delete, update, or compromise vital documents purely by accident are pretty big.

17. 84% of organizations use cloud backup.

(Source: UniTrends) 

Given the cloud’s affordability and ease of access, it’s not surprising that many people choose this option for data protection. Adoption rates are the highest for small businesses (93%), followed by mid-sized (82%) and large companies (81%.)

Faces of Corruption—Data Loss Statistics

In this section, we will explore the factors that can lead to data loss incidents, their consequences, and how to face them properly.

18. 60% of businesses that lose their data close down within six months.

(Source: Nirico) 

We’re starting with this stat as it’s a perfect illustration of the cost of data loss. Now, let us see where the real danger lies.

19. 36% of professionals consider ransomware the most serious threat to cybersecurity.

(Source: BlackHat)

This network statistic comes from the survey conducted during the BlackHat security conference in 2017. It clearly shows that the increased use of ransomware is responsible for a great part of the data loss incidents.

20. During the first half of 1999, American businesses lost more than $7.6 billion because of computer viruses.

(Source: Boston Computing Network)

This indicates that data corrupted because of a virus was relatively common in 1991. Since then, hackers have become much more skillful, so it’s safe to say that the damages are much greater today.

21. Downtime caused small companies to lose over $100,000 per ransomware incident.

(Source: CNN business)

Ransomware can cause network crashes, which resulted in 25 hours of downtime for more than 16% of businesses in 2017.

22. Human error is responsible for 52% of data breaches.

(Source: Whoa.com) 

As you can see, the main reason businesses need a data recovery plan is not cyberattacks or natural disasters but human negligence. This is why security training for all employees is crucial.

23. 32% of data loss incidents happen while migrating devices.

(Source: Ontrack.com)

Of all data loss examples, this is the most neglected one. In a 2016 survey, IT administrators reported that the top reason for backup recovery failures was the fact that backups weren’t current or operating correctly.

24. Hardware failure accounts for 45% of all backup failures.

(Source: Sherweb.com)

If we take a look at statistics in the long term, hardware faces a 100% chance of a failure—it is just a matter of time. Off-site data corruption is constantly lurking, waiting to manifest itself in the form of mechanical failure or during format migration. This is why safety lies in frequent backups.

25. The cost of drive recovery can go up to $7,500.

(Source: Boston Computing Network)

Yes, you’ve read the number correctly. And data recovery rates tell us that even this doesn’t guarantee success—some files are simply unrecoverable.

26. Only 55% of companies performed recovery testing in 2019.

(Source: UniTrends)

It seems that people simply can’t get accustomed to the fact that a PCs crash and a backup might be the only thing that can save your data. But things might be changing for the better—this a 12% increase in the number of annual recovery tests compared to 4 years ago.

27. The average cost of a data breach in 2020 was $3.86 million.

(Source: IBM Security) 

The global average time needed to identify and contain the breach is 280 days. The longer this takes the more increases the average cost of data recovery.

28. A data breach contained in under 200 days can reduce the cost by up to $1 million.

(Source: IBM Security)

More importantly, backup stats show us that having a response team can save you an additional $1million.

29. The cost of a basic hard drive recovery can be between $100 and $700.

(Source: Provendatarecovery.com)

This average cost of a hard drive recovery depends on how severe the damage is and what is needed to reach the point of data extraction, as experts work on hourly rates. If a failure is classified as advanced, the average cost can increase to up to $2,000.

Moving on—Disaster Recovery Statistics

In this section, we’ll mainly focus on the bright side of the story, but we’ll also mention some of the issues we haven’t addressed yet.

30. 96% of businesses with a disaster recovery plan and trusted backup survived ransomware attacks.

(Source: PhoenixNAP)

Finally, some optimistic business continuity statistics! And it gets better—96% of companies who had disaster recovery solutions set up were able to fully recover operations.

31. Only 52% of employees receive cybersecurity policy training once per year.

(Source: Clutch) 

Disaster recovery facts indicate that cybersecurity training is critical for new employees. But with data breaches evolving and becoming more complex, all employees need to be prepared.

32. In 2018, cybersecurity expenses reached $96 billion.

(Source: PhoenixNAP)

This high disaster recovery cost is making businesses take cybercrimes seriously. It is predicted that by 2022, the global cost of cybercrimes will reach $6 trillion a year.

33. 97% of data affected by a ransomware attack was recovered after paying the ransom.

(Source: Coveware.com)

Paying the fee demanded doesn’t guarantee that you’ll be provided with the working decryption key, nor that you will be able to recover all data. Still, disaster recovery facts from 2019 show that 98% of the victims got a working decryption key and that 97% of data was successfully decrypted.

34. 46% of consumers have no idea what ransomware is.

(Source: Acronis)

This stat comes from the survey conducted by one of the top disaster recovery companies, Acronis. It shows that even people with a backup plan have no idea what it can protect them from. This lack of education might get in their way of choosing the most appropriate solution.

35. The average cost of disaster recovery software starts from $10 per month.

(Source: TrustRadius) 

Of course, this varies depending on different pricing models—per device, per user, per GB of used storage, etc. For large-scale products, the price could go up to several times that, but it’s still affordable compared to what you’ll have to pay in case of a data breach.

In this last section, we’ll take a peek into the future of backup and storage.

36. 74.9% of users say that their data recovery budget increased in 2018.

(Source: Solutions Review)

And 21% of them said that the increase was significant, show backup stats from a 2019 report released by Datrium.

37. The average person created 36GB of data per month in 2016.

(Source: Sherweb.com)

The amount of data we produce is growing and so do file sizes. 90% of people store this immense data on local storage devices, which is not the most effective backup solution. Many businesses now rely on quality cloud storage, which makes migration easier.

This trend in backup statistics underlines the importance of remaining current on data backups and employing new tech solutions for better data protection. 

38. More than half of users are using a multi-cloud environment.

(Source: Solutions Review)

This technology seems to be gaining traction. Backup stats from the Datrium report confirm the general cloud adoption trends: more than 10% of respondents are using five clouds or more within their organizations.

Analyzing the Data—A Wrap-Up

The main point of all information was to answer one crucial question—what does it mean to backup your data?

We demonstrated that there’s more to it than it seems. We covered data loss and data recovery statistics and showed you the different types of backup solutions, as well as some trends in the cloud backup.

If you missed some of that, read our backup statistics to learn all there is to know about losing and recovering data.

Branko Krstic
Branko Krstic

Branko is a round-the-clock tech geek and loving it. His ideal vacation destination is the Akihabara District (or really any place he can take his computer). If there’s a server out there, count on him to find out what it’s made of… and tell you all about it.