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Disasters cost SMBs $14.5K a day: Symantec study

o John Mark V. Tuazon
04.04.2011 kl 22:54 | Computerworld Philippines

When disaster strikes and cause downtimes in businesses, SMBs are usually the ones hit the most, costing them an average of US$14,500 for every day of downtime, according to a recent study conducted by Applied Research and commissioned by IT security firm Symantec.

 

When disaster strikes and cause downtimes in businesses, SMBs are usually the ones hit the most, costing them an average of US$14,500 for every day of downtime, according to a recent study conducted by Applied Research and commissioned by IT security firm Symantec.

The survey, conducted in November 2010, talked with 1,840 respondents from 23 countries around the world--including the Philippines--to measure the impact of disasters to SMBs and gauge their stages of disaster recovery preparedness.

The survey accounted for SMBs as firms having five to 499 employees.

One of the key findings was that at least half of Filipino SMBs do not have disaster preparedness plans, while one third of those surveyed admitted they would lose precious company data when disaster strikes.

"Disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, and without warning," emphasized Edwin Tiotuyco, manager for channels and territory sales, Symantec Philippines. "The impact [of disasters] to SMBs is critical--they lose money, customers, and even reputation."

Despite these accepted realities, most SMBs tend to be reactive in approaching disasters. Half of the SMBs surveyed have put up a plan only after they experienced an outage; 38% have only put a plan together in the last six months; and only 39% have actually tested their plans.

It Can't Happen To Me

Most of the reason why Philippine SMBs--much like the rest of the world--are laggards in disaster preparedness is their "it can't happen to me mentality," Tiotuyco said.

According to Symantec, a third of firms do not think computer systems are critical to their business; say disasters have never occurred to them; say disaster preparedness is not among their priorities; and that they lack skills or qualified personnel.

"The last thing SMBs should do is to try to figure out what to do [when they come face-to-face] with disaster," noted Raymond Goh, systems engineering and customer advisory services for south region, Symantec.

According to Goh, not having a plan puts SMBs at great risks--especially that almost 70% of them conduct offices at areas susceptible to natural disasters.

In the last year alone, SMBs had to contend with a minimum of five outages, caused mainly by power outages, cyber attacks, upgrades, employee errors, on top of natural disasters, Goh said.

"Disaster preparedness is not just about preparing for the big ones; it's also for those that can occur anytime," he emphasized.

To get around the lack of manpower, Goh suggests SMBs should get all their employees involved in the process of drafting a disaster preparedness plan, so that everyone would know what to do when it strikes.

"It is also important to review your plan," he added. "The IT landscape changes frequently. What's not important last year may be very important to the business this year."

Keywords: Business Issues  
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