SMEs Not Prepared for Disasters

Based on studies*, SMB’s are not prepared to deal with IT disasters, with only around 40% of these companies have established a clear cut disaster recovery plan.

The study revealed that 12% of these SMBs did not have even a basic DR plan or even had plans to create one. Among them, 44% do not think that IT systems are critical to the business while 38% said they do not think they need a DR plan. 28% said that DRP is not a priority.

Based on these mindset, it seems that these companies were ignoring the risks of data loss and its impact on their business by not taking DR preparedness seriously. And to think that statistics show that a company experiences an average of five outages per year as a result of cyberattacks, power outages, upgrades and employee errors, it was noted that only 52% backs up at least 60% of their data. Less than half backed up data weekly or more frequently and only 21% do daily backups.

Of those with existing DR plans, half said they implemented one after experiencing either an outage or data loss and only 28% actually tested their plans.

Conceptually and technically speaking, we say that NO DR PLAN is ready until it has been tested and should involve automated tools like simulation of disaster recovery and putting a sort of process in place.

It can also mean that each test and procedure should be checked every six months to a year. These tests should cover recovery of lost systems to ensure that they are sound. It should also include a team readiness mentality to handle a crisis.

Companies who had experienced major outages lost customers too, which in turn, could have lost their business reputation. A survey done by an international survey firm revealed that 72% of the customers will switch vendors or providers in the event of disasters, noting that customers are not as tolerant as their vendors think they are. 51% of these customers stated that if the service provider is not provided as expected, they would switch vendors as soon as possible.

The lack of preparedness can cause an SMB to go out of business. It is critical that these companies recognize the importance of their data. At least, the best thing you can do is backup your data and important information and making sure that you put a good security mechanism in place to defend external threats.

Cloud computing is an option SMB’s can explore to better protect their data. Disaster preparedness also involves employees getting educated on good IT practices which should include not storing data on laptops, mobile phones and even on USB flash drives. They should also ensure that data is duplicated on file servers to allow better management in an event of a disaster. Safe and secure access to the Internet can also mitigate risks against potential threats.

The world is now experiencing day to day disasters. We think all companies should be prepared in the event a disaster strikes so that they can immediately recover everything and get back to their normal operations, hence, not losing their reputation and customers, which will in turn, allow them not to substantially incur losses in their businesses.

* Note:

statistics acquired from Symantec and IDG surveys.

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