This article was updated in December 2019.

Data loss can be chilling and has serious financial implications. Downtime can occur at any time. Something as small as an employee opening an infected email, or as significant as a natural disaster.

Yet, 75% of small businesses have no disaster recovery plan objective in place.

We have compiled an interesting mix of disaster recovery statistics from a variety of sources from technology companies to mainstream media. Think of a disaster recovery plan a lifeboat for your business.

Hardware failure is the number one cause of data loss and/or downtime.

According to Dynamic Technologies, hardware failures cause 45% of total unplanned downtime. Followed by the loss of power (35%), software failure (34%), data corruption (24%), external security breaches (23%), and accidental user error (20%).

Note: Refer to our definition of a data breach to learn the basics behind this threat for all businesses.

17 Startling Disaster Recovery Facts & Stats

1. 93% of companies without Disaster Recovery who suffer a major data disaster are out of business within one year.

2. 96% of companies with a trusted backup and disaster recovery plan were able to survive ransomware attacks.

3. More than 50% of companies experienced a downtime event in the past five years that longer than a full workday.

Recovering From a Disaster Is Expensive

When your business experiences downtime, there is a cost associated with that event. This dollar amount can be pretty tough to pin down as it includes direct expenses such as recovery labor and equipment replacement. But, also indirect costs such as lost business opportunity.

The cost can be staggering:

4. Corero Network Security found that organizations spend up to $50,000 dealing with a denial of service attack. Preventing DDoS attacks is critical.

4. Estimate are that unplanned downtime can cost up to $17,244 per minute, with a low-end estimate of $926 per minute.

5. On average, businesses lose over $100,000 per ransomware incident due to downtime and recovery costs. (source: CNN)

6. 40-60% of small businesses who lose access to operational systems and data without a DR plan close their doors forever. Companies that can recover do so at a much higher cost and a more extended timeframe than companies who had a formal backup and disaster recovery (BDR) plan in place.

7. 96% of businesses with a disaster recovery solution in place fully recover operations.

Learn about preemptive measures against ransomware in our article How to Prevent Ransomware.

disaster recovery stat showing 90% of businesses will fail

Numbers Behind Security Breaches and Attacks

9. In a 2017 survey of 580 attendees of the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, it was revealed that the more than half of the organizations had been the target of cyber attacks. 20% of those came from ransomware attacks.

10. 2/3 of the individuals responding to the survey believe that a significant security breach will occur at their organization in the next year

11. More than 50% of businesses don’t have the budget to recover from the attack.

Taking into consideration the constant threat of ransomware attacks, you need to employ the best ransomware protection solutions to ensure business continuity and prevent loss of data.

The Human Element Of Data Loss

Cybercriminals often utilize a human-based method of bypassing security, such as increasingly-sophisticated phishing attacks.

12. Human error is the number one cause of security and data breaches, responsible for 52 percent of incidents.

13. Cybersecurity training for new employees is critical. Only 52% receive cybersecurity policy training once a year.

14. The painful reality is that malware can successfully bypass anti-spam email filters, and are mostly ineffective against a targeted malware attack. It was reported that in 2018, malware attacks increased by 25 percent.

man drawing an image of a cloud with the words disaster recovery

Evolving Security Threat Matrix

15. By 2021, cybercrimes will cost $6 trillion per year worldwide.

16. Cybersecurity spending is on the rise; reaching $96 billion in 2018.

17. Cryptojacking attacks are increasing by over 8000% as miners exploit the computing power of unsuspecting victims.

Don’t Become a Disaster Recovery Statistic

The good news is that with adequate planning, you can minimize the costs regarding time and lost sales that are associated with disaster recovery.

Backing up and securing your data and systems and having the capability to maintain business as usual in the face of a disaster is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Understanding how to put a disaster recovery plan in place is essential. Read our recent article on data breach statistics for 2020.