eco Association: Backup Culture in Germany Has Great Development Potential

  • On the occasion of the World Backup Day on 31st March, the eco Association calls for a higher level of awareness on the topic of data security

  • Backups protect companies and individuals against data loss; for example, in the event of ransomware incidents and hardware damage

Backups rescue data, but are still far from being established as common practice in Germany. Every day, companies lose important data and individuals lose priceless memories such as family photos, videos, and emails. “Backups are not only ‘nice to have’, but are a necessity in our digitalized world of life and work,” says Markus Schaffrin, Head of Members Services and security expert at eco Association of the Internet Industry.

Private data most at risk

“Whether due to hardware or software errors, device loss, or cyber criminals – there are many ways to lose data forever if there is no backup,” continues Markus Schaffrin. While large companies are already using appropriate data protection systems, small and medium-sized companies and private individuals are often still lagging behind. According to the 2017 IT Security Study by the eco Association, 78 percent of companies were able to recover their data through a backup after a ransomware incident. But after such an incident, private data is often irretrievably lost - according to a World Backup Day statistical survey, 30 percent of consumers have never backed up their devices.

Food for thought from the World Backup Day website: “The question is not whether your computer, tablet, or smartphone will ever give up the ghost. The question is when this will happen,” according to the World Backup Day. “Half of the hard drives currently in use are expected to give up within the next five years, which will include the loss of data stored on them,” continues the website.

Cloud solutions and external storage media make backups easy

Nowadays it is easier than ever to store copies of all data in a second, secure location. Applications for computers, tablets, and smartphones make backup possible for everyone in a short space of time – for example, via cloud solutions or external device storage. “Data backup of computers and mobile devices should become an indispensable ritual like daily tooth brushing – not just for World Backup Day on 31 March,” urges Schaffrin.

The three most common data loss scenarios

1. Technical failure: 33 percent of the devices simply fail due to a technical defect – naturally, when you're least expecting it.

2. Accidental damage: 18 percent of data loss is due to accidental damage – such as a broken smartphone.

3 Infection: 13 percent of the stored data falls foul of Trojans, viruses, or attacks by criminals via malware.

Source: Representative survey by the Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) on the occasion of the World Back-up Day 2018.

The initiative Botfrei, a service of eco – Association of the Internet Industry, has compiled general information on backups and various instructions for the Windows, Android, and iOS operating systems in its German-language Botfrei Wiki.