A Quarter of UK Workers Lost Data Last Year

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Data management and stewardship continues to be in the spotlight as a litany of breaches and hacks shows the fallibility of existing systems. But sometimes the cyber-threat isn’t from an attacker bent on malfeasance: A study has now revealed how over one 12-month period, more than a quarter of UK employees lost work due to malfunctioning technology.

Research from data recovery specialists Kroll Ontrack highlights that from 2013 to 2014, a whopping one in four workers (25%) lost work data due to malfunction or corruption of technology. This is up from 19% just over two years ago.

Obviously, this kind of technical leakage could have serious consequences for organizations that are unprepared for data disaster. Especially if getting the information back proves difficult, if not impossible. The research shows that just 68% of work data lost from devices was recovered in the last 12 months—meaning that almost a third of all work-related data lost was irrecoverable.

“The business environment is now, more than ever, data driven and digital first. It is therefore extremely alarming that data loss is on the up,” said Paul Le Messurier, program and operations manager at Kroll Ontrack, in a statement.

He added, “If we see this trend continue to build, there is a risk that we will continue to see large scale data disasters as well as negative impacts on the provision of service level agreements to customers. Organizations must prepare for potential data disasters by developing a robust business continuity plan that includes a back-up plan, education for employees and a data-disaster strategy if all else fails.”

The report also uncovered that one in three UK employees (33%) have used personal devices or cloud services to store work-related data in the last 12 months. Unfortunately, recovery rates of lost work-related data among these devices are low. One in five users successfully recovered lost data from home desktops (19%), but just 8% were able to do so from personal mobile devices, and 17% from laptops and tablets.

 “With the rise of [bring-your-own-device] BYOD, the lines between personal and work-related data are being blurred,” Le Messurier said. “As such, organizations have to take extra considerations when devising a disaster recovery plan. This includes a full audit of what devices are holding work-related data, and ensuring that these devices are being used responsibly. It is also important that businesses understand what data is critical on the device and what is not to ensure that only work related data is backed up to company servers—ignoring personal apps and music.”

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