Backup whenever you’re worried - A study of data-backup practices in an academic environment

University essay from IT-universitetet i Göteborg/Tillämpad informationsteknologi

Abstract: Data backup is one of many security related topics, and has been the target for many researches as to improve different techniques. However, studies have shown that backup is not a natural behavior for many, and some neglect its importance completely. Some argue that security can only be improved completely if an understanding of what cultural acceptance toward security is as well as what practices is being accepted and used. This paper aims not to improve the culture towards security, but rather to explore the practices and cultural compliance regarding data backup among employees and students at a university. A case study was made at an institution of a university. The study consisted of a quantitative study (survey) as well as a qualitative (interview). The survey was designed to extract the practices and cultural compliance to be expressed in a descriptive statistical fashion. The interview was designed as open and was analyzed using a phenomenological approach. The study shows that the respondents recognized themselves mainly at a level of; Culture, Commitment and Apathy. Meaning that the participants performed security related routines as part of, or close to, their natural behavior (Culture and Commitment), or were unmotivated to proceed with good praxis (Apathy). None of the participants recognized themselves at the disobedience level. The overall backup devices used were external hard disks and the use of online backup, dropbox. None of the participants used CD, DVD or Blue-Ray to backup their data. Nearly none of the participants used the universities servers as backup service. It was found that most backups were not protected in any way. The overall respondents found backup to be of importance and none considered it to be of no importance. Most difficult or least motivating among the participants in keeping regular backup was to remember doing so. It was also found that the most common regularity for both students and employees was to backup their data only whenever they felt worried for some particular file and folders.

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