One in three UK organisations are not following elementary back-up and recovery procedures, a study by analyst firm Quocirca has found.
Close to 80% of organisations store their back-up data on the same site as their datacentre, the study revealed.
Quocirca questioned more than 250 large and medium-sized organisations from financial services, retail, manufacturing, health and the public sector. Jon Collins, principal analyst, infrastructure and management, at Quocirca, described the findings as "astonishing".
"Some of the largest organisations do not follow any formal procedures for back-up," he said.
Failure to store and manage data properly not only leaves businesses at risk in the event of disaster or accidental loss, but means many organisations are in breach of compliance requirements, said Collins.
Ruth Boardman, a partner at law firm Bird & Bird specialising in data protection, said, "If data is lost, there may be a compliance issue." The US Securities and Exchange Commission recently fined a bank for not being able to supply copies of e-mail messages.
"Many of my US clients are introducing rigorous processes to ensure archives are retained," said Boardman.