Disaster recovery plans inadequate

The majority of mid-sized companies are failing to put in place adequate business continuity measures, risking major disruption to their operations or even bankruptcy when staff cannot get into the office.

Polling 100 IT managers at mid-sized business on behalf of communications company Cable & Wireless, ICM Research found that two thirds have no provision for staff to work from home in the event of the office being inaccessible. That is despite the fact that around the same number said their companies would be materially impacted if staff were unable to access the office even for a day.

Surprisingly, the research found that the greatest degree of myopia was in London. Even after the terrorist attacks in July highlighted the potential for large areas of the city to be shut down, just 33% of those interviewed from London businesses were able to point to a business continuity plan, compared to 63% from other locations.

When it came to back-up policies, there was more troubling news. Just under 40% of companies either do not back up or keep their only back-up in the office.

Businesses were also unaware of how well their suppliers and partners would support them in the event of major disruption: 56% were unaware of suppliers' business continuity plans – or if they even had any.

"With business continuity, it pays to be pessimistic – whilst large enterprises are more aware of the risks, small to medium businesses need to wake up and make preparations fast," says Cable & Wireless' chief security officer Mark Hanvey.

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