• Gaps found in UK disaster recovery preparedness

    960 640 Stuart O'Brien

    41% of UK businesses have either failed to test their disaster recovery (DR) systems in the last six months or don’t know when any sort of testing last took place.

    A study by Proband revealed that surveyed UK businesses at director-level to understand their current perception of disaster recovery – and to evaluate how prepared companies are when it comes to backup restoration.

    While the majority (92%) had some sort of DR solution in place, less encouraging was how few knew how effective those systems are and whether they are robust enough – with only two thirds (59%) carrying out regular tests.

    Many companies’ approach to backup also offered a source for concern. Just 62% were sure they had any off-site backup capabilities. While only 39% said they would be able to restore on-site backups in under 24 hours, even if they could get new servers ready to accept that data. However, only 29% said they could get hardware to replace servers in that time frame. Meanwhile, just 29% said they could recover to the cloud, with 54% admitting they definitely couldn’t, and 17% saying they didn’t know.

    Mark Lomas, technical architect at Probrand, said: ‘‘What’s clear from our research is that, for many companies, disaster recovery is shelfware, set up once and then rarely if ever tested or thought of again.

    ‘‘DR is a neglected, non-revenue generating component of many IT strategies, but the growing threats to enterprise data mean that this mindset needs to change.’’

    One survey respondent even went as far as to say they ‘‘did not know how long the backup would take,’’ as they had never had to do it. This laisse-faire attitude is worrying when you consider that it costs businesses on average $5,600 per minute of downtime.

    Lomas continues: ‘‘You wouldn’t install a fire alarm and then never test it – why should DR be any different? If businesses aren’t carrying out regular tests every 2-3 months then they have no way of knowing if their system is up to scratch and whether it’s going to leave the business – and its customers – experiencing downtime for a day, a week or even longer.’’

    Full findings of the report can be viewed here  How to avoid Disaster Recovery becoming a disaster.

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    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien