Survey Indicates Half of SMBs Have No Disaster Recovery Plan

 
 
By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-09-28 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Symantec queried about 1,700 small and medium-sized businesses this summer before announcing the findings of its 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey. The research shows that most SMBs in the United States are greatly overestimating how prepared they are if a natural disaster, hacker attack or power failure were to scuttle their computer systems.

New research from a prominent storage and data protection software provider indicates that almost half of small to medium-size enterprises have no formal data recovery plan if a natural disaster, hacker attack or power failure were to knock out their computer systems.

In addition, the research shows that most SMBs in the United States are greatly overestimating how prepared they are if such an outage were to hit their business.

Symantec queried about 1,700 small and medium-sized businesses this summer before announcing on Sept. 28 the findings of its 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey.

The report shows that almost half (47 percent) of the respondents have no formal data recovery  plan (57 percent in North America) and that a major discrepancy exists between how SMBs perceive their disaster readiness and their actual level of preparedness, Symantec Vice President Pat Hanavan told eWEEK.

However, 89 percent of respondents said they intend to create a disaster recovery plan within the next six months. Seventy-seven percent of SMBs reported that they are located in a region that is vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes, Hanavan said.

More of the key findings:

  • Eighty-two percent of the respondents said that they are "somewhat/very satisfied" with their data recovery plan (81 percent in North America).
  • Eighty-four percent believe they are very/somewhat protected (82 percent in North America).
  • Twenty-three percent of SMBs back up data daily, and the average SMB backs up only 60 percent of its company and customer data at that time.
  • The average SMB has experienced three outages within the past 12 months, with the leading causes being viruses or hacker attacks, power outages, or natural disasters.
Affected SMBs estimated the cost of these outages as being about $15,000 per day. These outages were fairly serious, with 42 percent lasting 8 hours or more, Symantec said. One in four customers (26 percent) reported losing important data, the survey revealed.

"There's something that doesn't quite ring true with the 82 percent number we found," Hanavan said. "They may think they have a good and reliable DR solution, but if all they're doing is backing up the data once a week or once a month, that's not a good DR solution."

The data also suggests SMB downtime costs their customers tens of thousands of dollars each year, Hanavan said. As a result, the findings show that SMBs can-and often do-lose business as a direct result of being unprepared for disasters, he said.


 
 
 
 
Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on Salesforce.com and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and DevX.com and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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