Survey Finds Active Directory Outages on the Rise

A recent survey found that 79 percent of organizations have experienced Active Directory outages recently -- up from 29 percent in 2021.

The report by Active Directory management solutions firm Cayosoft found that the dramatic uptick in Active Directory-related downtime can be attributed to multiple factors, including cyberattacks, increased hybrid environments and human error.  

What's notable is that Cayosoft's report, which surveyed over a thousand IT pros, revealed that the bigger the organization, the higher chance there was for an Active Directory outage. Here's how the numbers break down:

  • SMBs (less than 1,000 employees): 65 percent experienced an AD outage.
  • Mid-sized businesses (between 1,000 and 9,999 employees): 79 percent experienced an AD outage.
  • Enterprise (above 10,000 employees): 90 percent experienced an AD outage.

For enterprise-level organizations, the top reason for failures was due to cyberattacks, while the number one cause for SMBs and mid-size organizations was faulty or outdated hardware. In all cases, 20 percent of incidents could be directly tied to human error.

And for those organizations that do experience an outage, the results can be costly. The report found that 70 percent of participants estimated their organizational loss of at least $100,000 per day, per outage. This contrasts sharply with the reality of potential losses, which can escalate to $4.5 million in labor costs per day for enterprises with over 15,000 employees, according to Cayosoft.

Couple that with 18 percent of respondents saying that their organization has "all or most" of their core systems directly tied to AD (like marketing, accounting and development), and the cost of an outage can easily balloon in a short window.   

With AD outages on the rise, Cayosoft said that it's important IT has the tools to recover their environment as quickly as possible. Unfortunately another finding of the report showed that 94 percent of organizations do not have the procedure in place to recover their AD deployment in minutes -- with 43 percent responding it took "days or longer" to get back up and running.

Cayosoft recommends that organizations looking to reduce the time it takes for recovery should make sure the tools used for clean installs are up to date and that frequent testing is performed. The company found that 73 percent of organizations only test their AD backup and recovery once a month or less -- a cadence that the IT firm says is just not adequate.

"AD is always a high-value attack target because of the access it provides," read the report. "AD is the first thing needed to recover after an attack. AD-enabled applications, access to email, and device logins need to be back up and running so employees can be productive. An hour can seem like an eternity when lost employee wages reach more than $150,000 per hour."

About the Author

Chris Paoli (@ChrisPaoli5) is the associate editor for Converge360.


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