MORI has released data showing that only 23 per cent of UK businesses back data up once a week or more. The polling firm estimates this could cost UK businesses, with 49 employees or less, a potential £69 billion should their data be destroyed.

The poll, conducted among respondents in the UK, France and Germany indicates that a total of 57,500 (20 per cent) of UK small businesses could collapse if they were to lose their data. More than half the participating companies considered a corrupt hard drive to be the most likely reason for losing data, and 53 per cent of "law and order" UK businesses felt that the theft of their computer was a likely way to lose data.

25 per cent of UK businesses are too busy to back up their data. The MORI poll, commisioned by storage solutions manufacturer Iomaga, showed that overall 90 per cent of European firms use the floppy disc for data back up - despite the risk of viruses and fragmentation. The data was collected through 330 interviews with small businesses in the UK, France and Germany.