New Survey Report: Majority of Businesses Unprepared for Active Directory Forest Recovery

Forest-wide Active Directory outages increased 172% since 2021; nearly half of organizations say recovery takes a day or longer, risking loss of $100k+ per day in labor costs alone

COLUMBUS, OH – February 15, 2024 – Cayosoft Inc., the leader in Microsoft Active Directory management, monitoring, and recovery, today released a peer insights survey report examining the factors contributing to escalating Active Directory (AD) outages, recovery delays, and business impact. Based on a survey of over 1,000 IT professionals conducted in partnership with Research Lab, a division of the IT Knowledgebase, the report revealed a stark inadequacy of AD protection across businesses of all sizes, from small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to enterprise organizations.

Nearly every organization has core systems services tied to Active Directory that will go down during an outage. The impact of just one system being down can devastate business operations and cause significant financial and operational losses, from preventing customer purchases and supplier communications to disrupting core functions, such as email access and device logins. According to the report, the most common AD-enabled systems include accounting, marketing, and software and services development.

The report revealed a 172% increase in forest-wide Active Directory outages since 2021, due to a confluence of factors including escalating cyber attacks, the growing complexity of hybrid environments, and human error. Yet despite the striking rise in AD outages, few businesses can respond and recover quickly. Only 6% of enterprises and 16% of businesses overall can recover their Active Directory in less than an hour. Notably, almost half of respondents report that it can take days, weeks, or even months to rebuild.

Further findings around the causes and impact of AD recovery delays include:
  • Dangerous lack of AD recovery testing: Though daily testing could significantly reduce AD outages, 73% of respondents reported testing less than once per month, with almost a quarter (23%) testing just once per year.
  • Outdated recovery solutions are at the root of delays: 90% of enterprises, 70% of medium-sized companies, and 65% of small businesses must rebuild or have clean servers on standby. These processes, which are required by most standard AD backup and recovery solutions, significantly lengthen time to recovery.
  • Organizations of every size are drastically underestimating the cost of Active Directory downtime: When asked about the labor cost of downtime, 70% of respondents across all company sizes said they risk losing at least $100k per day (just over $200 per minute) of downtime. However, a calculation of labor cost, based on an average salary of $75k per employee and 250 8-hour workdays per year, demonstrates a significant disconnect between the perceived cost of AD downtime and reality. The range can vastly differ based on size of the organization as well. The below example illustrates the expense from lost labor at different size groups, not including costs due to lost revenue or other financial impacts of an AD outage:
    • An enterprise with 15,000+ employees risks losing $4.5 million in labor costs per day ($9,375 per minute) of AD downtime;
    • A mid-size company with 5,000+ employees risks losing $1.5 million per day ($3,125 per minute);
    • An SMB with up to 1,000 employees risks losing up to $300k per day ($625 per minute).

“Regardless of how an Active Directory forest outage comes about, it’s critical to reduce the time it’s down. Many organizations falsely trust their AD recovery strategies will work in these pivotal moments, and few meet testing burdens, and even fewer fully comprehend the time and resulting cost for a recovery,” said Robert Bobel, founder and CEO, Cayosoft. “Active Directory remains the cornerstone of almost every organization and outages are escalating – this means a fast, complete recovery is top priority so employees, enabled apps, suppliers, and customers can operate.”

“We received an immense response to this survey – over 1,000 responses from C-level, VP, and Director-level members of our expert community in little over a week’s time,” said George Coll, CEO, BWW Media Group – is the flagship IT knowledgebase of BWW Media Group. “This extraordinary level of interest makes it clear that Active Directory outages are a critical concern across organizations of every size.”

Commissioned by Cayosoft, the report is based on a survey of 1,000+ IT professionals at SMBs, mid-size companies, and enterprises representing a broad range of industries. The survey was administered by the Research Lab, a division of the IT Knowledgebase, one of the world’s leading content and community resources for IT professionals and system administrators.

About Cayosoft:

Cayosoft delivers the only unified solution enabling organizations to securely manage, continuously monitor for threats or suspect changes, and instantly recover their Microsoft platforms, including on-premises Active Directory, hybrid AD, Azure AD, Office 365, and more.

Unlike legacy solutions, Cayosoft builds with hybrid, cloud, and mobile users in mind, fully supporting an organization throughout its IT cloud journey. Manage by offering roles, rules, and automations for Active Directory user governance. Monitor for critical changes, risks, vulnerabilities, and threats that could compromise operations. Lastly, recover from simple objects up to multiple forests. Cayosoft is the only vendor offering instant forest recovery and delivering AD forest recovery in minutes vs. multiple hours, days, even weeks with traditional methods.

To learn more, visit and be sure to follow @cayosoft on LinkedIn, X/Twitter, and Facebook.


Media Contact:

Doug De Orchis

Scratch Marketing + Media for Cayosoft

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