‘Significant’ disconnect between C-suite and IT over disaster recovery

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A ‘significant’ disconnect exists between C-level executives and IT professionals when it comes to an organisation’s ability to recover from a disaster, according to new research from Evolve IP.

The study, which polled more than 500 executives and IT professionals, argued that while almost seven in 10 of the C-suite believe their company is ‘very prepared’ to recover from a disaster, the figure translates less well when it comes to IT pros (44%).

The study also found a clear link between disaster recovery (DR) compliance and an ability to recover IT assets if an incident occurs. More than two thirds (67%) of respondents in the banking industry noted their confidence – in an industry where DR compliance was noted by 97% of those polled – compared with 58% of government who were ‘very prepared’ and 55% in technology. Yet the exception which proves the rule is in the healthcare industry; while 89% of respondents said they had DR compliance requirements, just over half felt prepared to recover from an outage.

One in three (33%) companies said they had suffered from at least one incident or outage that required disaster recovery, with hardware failure and server room issues being the primary reason for failover, as reported by almost half (48%) of those polled. Perhaps more worryingly, the number of deliberate attacks as the cause for disasters doubled when compared to similar survey results from 2014.

“In the years Evolve IP has conducted the survey, we’re assured by the fact that companies are becoming increasingly aware of the need to protect critical business assets from a major outage: malicious or unintentional, human error, hardware failure or a natural disaster,” said Scott Kinka, chief technology officer and founding partner of Evolve IP.

“More companies are avoiding risky backup policies considered ‘good enough’ in years past, using backup tape or replicating data to a secondary mirror site less than 50miles from their main data centre, for instance,” Kinka added. “Instead, we’ve seen notable growth in the number of companies developing a disaster recovery plan and educating themselves to the benefits of new DR approaches like DRaaS.”

Writing for this publication earlier this week, Donald Bowker of Sungard AS discussed the right times and methods for testing disaster recovery plans. “Faults and setbacks that come to light during a DE test can be distressing but by testing your DRP you will identify these issues before they become a problem and have the opportunity to fix them,” he wrote. “By making disaster recovery planning a priority and testing your procedures regularly, your business will be fully prepared for any setbacks.”

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