Half of UK firms lax on disaster recovery

Half of UK firms lax on disaster recovery

Many UK companies ill-equipped to handle major disruption

An encouraging 91 per cent of UK organisations carry out full evaluations of their disaster recovery plans, but almost half of the tests fail, according to a new survey.

The study by Symantec revealed that, although companies combine relevant staff, processes and technologies, around half would be found wanting when faced by natural disasters, computer system failures and external computer threats.

The survey also revealed that disaster recovery planning is still being neglected at the most senior level.

Just over three quarters of chief executives fail to take an active role on disaster planning committees, despite rigorous legal requirements and severe fines if something goes wrong.

A mere 40 per cent of IT professionals carried out a probability and impact assessment for all recognised threats, and a worrying 12 per cent failed to carry out an assessment for any threat.

"IT executives are taking a fresh, hard look at their disaster recovery and business continuity strategies," said Guy Bunker, chief scientist at Symantec.

"To protect against downtime, organisations must implement high availability and disaster recovery across their enterprise environments."

Bunker warned that firms must also maintain procedures for non-disruptive disaster recovery testing to continually evaluate the effectiveness of their plans without impacting the day-to-day environment.

Configuration change management was the least assessed threat area, with only 42 per cent of those feeling exposed to the threat actually carrying out an impact assessment for it.