Symantec conducts study on SMB disaster preparedness

Security software manufacturer Symantec announced the findings this week of a survey it recently conducted on the disaster preparedness of small and mid-sized businesses (SMB), which reflect the attitudes and practices of SMBs and their customers towards technology disaster preparedness.

The results of the 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey show a large discrepancy between how SMBs perceive their disaster readiness and their actual level or preparedness. Nearly 82 percent of respondents said they were somewhat or very satisfied with their disaster plans and 84 percent felt somewhat or very protected in case a disaster strikes.

In reality, however, the average SMB has experience three outages in the last 12 months, which in most cases was caused by a virus, hacker power outages or natural disasters. Only 23 percent of SMBs survey’s reported backing up their info daily and the average SMB only backs up 60 percent of their company and customer information.

In addition, the survey also found that the downtime suffered by SMBs costs their customers thousands of dollars a year, which often results in loss of business to SMBs themselves. SMB customers estimated that outages cost them an average of $15,000 per day and two in five SMB customers reporting switching vendors because they felt their current vendor’s computers were unreliable.

"The startling part of this research is the fact that SMBs don't realize the impact their outages have on customers, particularly when they have tools at their fingertips to help them be prepared to deal with disasters," said Pat Hanavan, vice president, backup exec product management, Symantec. "While no one wants a disaster to occur, the reality is that they happen. Rather than continuing to be unprepared, small and mid-sized organizations can take simple steps to protect their data. And, as companies communicate their plans to their customers, they strengthen those relationships and become a trusted partner."

As companies work to develop business continuity plans and alleviate many of their customers concerns, Symantec recommends:

• Determine you needs
• Engage trusted advisors
• Automate where you can
• Test Annually