Europeans differ in their approach to PC backup, a new survey has found. The Germans do it efficiently, the French with enthusiasm, while the British sometimes have trouble taking it seriously at all.

According to backup company Acronis, which commissioned a survey of 600 IT staff across Europe, more than 90 percent of professionals carry out backup automatically or manually on workstations at least once a week in France and Germany, about what one would expect. In the UK, apparently, barely 60 percent are as fastidious, and nearly 40 percent claim not to back up at all.

Oddly, this glum number doesn't stop the same Brits from being the most confident that they could recover should disaster strike, with 86 percent being ‘confident' or ‘very confident', some way ahead of the Germans and French.

The survey defines ‘workstations' as any PC, fixed or mobile, so this does not include servers, but even so the survey looks as if it confirms the stereotype of the laid-back but penny-pinching British IT worker.

Acronis offers no explanation as to why the tendency to backup business PCs should be so much weaker in the UK though a company source did tentatively suggest it might have something to do with the economy.

Alternatively, it could be that the data held on PCs is rated as more important in some countries than others or that the UK has more mobile workers, which makes regular backup more difficult. Or perhaps UK companies just don't fund PC backup by buying enough products from companies such as Acronis.

"With little room for downtime in today's business environment, it's surprising that many companies still don't carry out regular backups," said David Blackman of Acronis, which wants to encourage companies to use full disk image backup.

Perhaps UK companies don't back up this type of data because they don't have to. When it comes to compulsion, the Germans appear to worry the most about compliance with 22 percent citing it as an issue, ahead of the French on 11 percent and 9 percent for the British.

Acronis is probably correct to argue that full disk image backup is important. Just saving data alone isn't enough to smooth the disruption of crashed hard disks. But this will require a new layer of cloud backup providers with bullet-proof systems with better remote access speeds, neither of which is yet in a mature or affordable state.