Only half of SMBs have disaster recovery plans, according to survey

Todd Erickson, News and Features Writer

Half of all small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) have no disaster recovery plans in place, according to

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results of  Symantec's 2011 SMB Disaster Preparedness survey. The percentage of SMBs surveyed without DR plans was higher than last year, when 47% said they had no plans.

Symantec surveyed 1,288 SMBs (organizations with fewer than 1,000 employees) and 522 of those SMBs' customers in 23 countries for the report.

"There's not that big of a change since last year," said Bernard Laroche, Symantec's senior director of SMB product marketing. "The number of SMBs with a disaster recovery plan is going down instead of up. SMBs still haven't recognized the tremendous impact a disaster can have on their businesses."

The survey also found that 14% of SMBs have no intention to create disaster recovery plans while 36% said they intend to create a plan. Of those with no intention of forging a disaster recovery plan, 52% said they don't consider their computer systems critical to their businesses; 41% said that it never occurred to them to create a plan; and 40% said disaster preparedness was not a priority.

The results were especially surprising because 65% of respondents said they live in areas susceptible to natural disasters, and they said they averaged six outages in the last year. The SMBs said outages cost an average of $12,500 per day, and 54% of their customers said they have switched vendors due to unreliable computing systems. Half of the SMBs that have implemented disaster preparedness plans did so after experiencing an outage and/or data loss.

Only 28% said they have actually tested their disaster recovery plans.

Twenty-three percent of the respondents said they back up their data daily and most said they do not back up at least once a week. Forty-four percent said they would lose at least 40% of their data in an outage.


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