The ongoing move to cloud platforms means organisations are better able to continue operations in the event of a ransomware attack.

The latest edition of the annual Veeam Data Protection Trends Report found, however, that the vast majority of organisations are falling short on data protection.

The study, which surveyed more than 3,000 IT decision makers and global enterprises to understand their data protection strategies, examines how organisations are preparing for the IT challenges they face, including huge growth in use of cloud services and cloud-native infrastructure, as well as the expanding cyberattack landscape.

It found that two-thirds of businesses are turning to cloud-based solutions to protect essential data yet 89% are not protecting data sufficiently. 

It said 88% of IT leaders expect data protection budgets to rise at a higher rate than broader IT spending as data becomes more critical to business success and the challenges of protecting it grow in complexity. 

“Data growth over the past two years [since the pandemic] has more than doubled, in no small part to how we have embraced remote working and cloud-based services,” said Anand Eswaran, CEO at Veeam. 

“As data volumes have exploded, so too have the risks associated with data protection – ransomware being a prime example. This research shows that organisations recognize these challenges and are investing heavily, often due to having fallen short in delivering the protection users need. 

“CXOs must invest in a strategy that plugs the gaps they already have and keeps pace with rising data protection demands.”

For the second year in a row, cyberattacks have been the single biggest cause of downtime, with 76% of organisations reporting at least one ransomware event in the past 12 months. Not only is the frequency of these events alarming, so is their potency: per attack, organisations were unable to recover 36% of their lost data, proving that data protection strategies are currently failing to help businesses prevent, remediate and recover from ransomware attacks.

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The study also found that, despite backup being a fundamental part of any data protection strategy, 18% of global organisations’ data is not backed up and therefore completely unprotected.

Technical failures are the most frequent cause of downtime, with an average of 53% of respondents experiencing outages across infrastructure/networking, server hardware and software; while 46% of respondents experienced cases of administrator configuration error, while 49% were hindered by accidental deletion, overwriting of data or corruption caused by users.