Australian businesses lost more than $US55 billion to data loss and downtime costs in 2014, according to the EMC Global Data Protection Index.
This compared to the average of $US34 billion across the Asia-Pacific and Japan region.
Global data loss is up by 400 per cent since 2012, while, surprisingly, 78 per cent of Australian organisations are still not fully confident in their ability to recover after a disruption.
The report also found companies in Australia with three or more vendors lost 10 times as much data as those with a single-vendor strategy.
The good news is that the number of data loss incidents is decreasing overall.
However, the volume of data lost during an incident is growing exponentially.
In Australia, 64 per cent of enterprises surveyed experienced data loss or downtime in the last 12 months.
The average business experienced more than three working days (27 hours) of unexpected downtime in the last 12 months.
Other commercial consequences of disruptions were loss of employee productivity (54 per cent) and loss of revenue (44 per cent).
However, 58 per cent of businesses lack a disaster recovery plan for any of these environments and just 7 per cent have a plan for all three.
In fact, 60 per cent rated Big Data, mobile and hybrid Cloud as ‘difficult’ to protect.
With 31 per cent of all primary data located in some form of Cloud storage, this could result in substantial loss.
EMC Data Protection Index survey participants were awarded points based on their responses, ranking their data protection maturity.
China has the greatest number of companies ahead of the curve (30 per cent) and the UAE the least (0 per cent).
Australia ranked 11 out of 24 countries surveyed.
Globally, very large enterprises of more than 5000 employees were twice as likely (24 per cent) to be ahead of the curve than smaller enterprises of 250-449 employees (12 per cent); companies in the US and The Netherlands were the greatest vanguards outside of Asia-Pacific and Japan (at 20 per cent and 21 per cent respectively).
EMC, general manager, data protection and availability Division, Simon Eid, said Some Australian companies were ahead of the curve when it came to how they were protecting their data.
"Worryingly though, the majority of local organisations are lagging behind in deploying modern data protection methods and are not confident that in the event of a data loss incident they would be able to fully recover their information," he said.
"Data loss and downtime has cost local organisations over $US55 billion in the last twelve months, which clearly demonstrates that organisations should be seriously concerned about preventing data loss.
He said pressure on data protection would only increase as Australian organisations embraced mobile, Cloud, and Big Data projects for 2015.
"In fact 60 per cent of Australian businesses feel challenged when it comes to protecting emerging technologies.
"This study demonstrates that it is imperative for technology leaders to evaluate their current data protection approach and prepare now for the challenges ahead,” he said.