Nearly all businesses hit by IT downtime last year - here's what's to blame

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More than three-quarters (75%) of businesses experienced downtime in 2021, up 25% compared to the previous year, new research has claimed.

Cybersecurity firm Acronis polled more than 6,200 IT users and IT managers from small businesses and enterprises in 22 countries, finding that downtime stemmed from multiple sources, with system crashes (52%) being the most prevalent cause. 

Human error (42%) was also a major issue, followed by cyberattacks (36%) and insider attacks (20%).

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Overconfidence threatens the stability

When it comes to human error, the report suggests, it’s mostly down to IT teams being overconfident. Instead of tightening up on security, they’re lowering their guard, while budgets rise.

In fact, while 70% of the respondents claim to have automated patch management, only a “handful” follow the 72-hour “golden time” for patch management.

What’s more, four in five (82%) claim to have ransomware protection and remediation for their endpoints, despite the fact that successful ransomware attacks happen almost daily. Ransom demands, to add insult to injury, are growing with each passing week, as well.

Finally, a fifth (20%) claimed to be testing backup restoration weekly which, the report claims, isn’t consistent with other industry-issued data.

Rising budgets also don’t seem to be helping much, mostly because they’re not growing proportionally to the size of the threats. Yet even when they do, IT managers waste them.

Half of businesses allocate less than 10% of their overall IT budget on security, with less than a quarter (23%) investing more than 15%. At the same time, almost four in five (78%) of firms globally run as many as 10 different solutions.

For Acronis, the solution to the problem is to shrink the number of tools used, and unify all of the features onto a single console.

“As the entire world is increasingly at risk from different types of attacks, accelerating to universal all-in-one solutions is the only way to achieve truly complete cyber protection,” says Candid Wuest, Acronis VP of Cyber Protection Research. 

“Attackers don’t discriminate when it comes to means or targets, so strong and reliable security is no longer an option, it’s a necessity.”

Sead is a seasoned freelance journalist based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He writes about IT (cloud, IoT, 5G, VPN) and cybersecurity (ransomware, data breaches, laws and regulations). In his career, spanning more than a decade, he’s written for numerous media outlets, including Al Jazeera Balkans. He’s also held several modules on content writing for Represent Communications.