Published 10 Sep 2019

A survey conducted by a firm specialising in disaster recovery has revealed that many UK businesses still have doubts about their capability to recover from a crisis.

The research involved asking more than 400 UK-based IT decision-makers about their disaster recovery plans and backup processes. Just over a third (35%) said they were very confident about their existing disaster recovery planning, while just over half (53%) said they were fairly confident.

Perhaps more worrying is that more than half (51%) of respondents did not report they had complete faith in their current backup process. While backups are important, they are not in themselves an ideal solution for disaster recovery, because a full system restore takes time. A comprehensive disaster recovery solution, in contrast, involves having duplicate hardware for key parts of the network infrastructure. When a server, for example, is hit by a catastrophic failure, a redundant server is there ready to take over its functions.

This slow progress in enhancing disaster recovery suggests that UK firms need to shift it up their corporate priorities, especially given the crippling effects attacks like ransomware can have. Evidence of this was seen earlier this year when Norsk Hydro, a leading producer of aluminium, was forced to resort to manual processes in its factories after its IT systems were rendered useless by a ransomware attack.

While cyber attacks are a growing cause of data loss, hardware failure and human error remain the greatest causes. When it comes to IT systems downtime, the survey reports hardware failure, connectivity issues, and upgrades and patches as the three most prevalent causes, with cyber incidents again becoming increasingly common. Natural disasters and cloud outages were also cited as possible causes. This shows how UK companies need to be ready to respond to a variety of scenarios if they want to avoid damage to their reputations and the loss of revenue following a disastrous event.

The managing director at Databarracks, Peter Groucutt, said about the findings:

“Organisations are lacking something in terms of disaster recovery strategy, and the policies, procedures and technology needed to execute this strategy. It’s hard to function confidently as a business if you’re unsure of how well you’d cope if disaster struck – whether that’s cyber-related or something else like a power outage.”

The survey reveals some hints about the possible problems companies are facing. For example, 23% of the companies do not make offsite backups, and 13% of them never test their backups. What’s more, 42% of companies had not tested their disaster recovery plans in the last year. Without testing against potential disasters, companies cannot take steps to improve their disaster recovery plans.

At Pro-Networks, we know the importance of maintaining operations after a catastrophic event. We can provide backup and recovery services to support your business continuity plan and help you achieve IT service continuity by replicating all your key onsite systems, so they’re ready to automatically take over following a catastrophic event. This can go as far as having a whole office at an alternative location, ready to use whenever you need it.