UAE firms need crisis planning

Companies in the emirates are vastly under prepared for major disruptions, such as fire, power outages or worse, accounting and consulting firm KPMG has warned.

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By  Administrator Published  January 11, 2007

Only 20% of organisations in the UAE have a business continuity plan covering the entire organisation, according to a survey by the firm’s UAE division.

“Organisations don’t seem to have considered business continuity planning. Many are thinking about it but only one third of organisations have a plan,” Rajeev Lalwani, director IT advisory practice KPMG in the UAE, told IT Weekly.

Moreover, many companies in the UAE are further exposing themselves to risk by locating their disaster recovery site within the same city of their normal operations, according to the survey, with 73% of companies surveyed having their disaster recovery site in the same city of their main operations.

In terms of information security, the survey found that although companies in the UAE are increasing their spend on information security — the amount spent on information security shot up 75% in 2006 — they are lagging behind their European counterparts on implementing international security standards such as IS027001.

Only 14% of companies in the UAE are aware of the standard in comparison to between 30% and 40% in Western Europe, noted Ronald Koorn, partner, IT advisory, KPMG Netherlands.

Security threats identified by companies included viruses and e-mail spamming, according to the survey, which was compiled through interviews with 80 companies from a range of industries in the UAE.

Lalwani said however that firms should not just see business continuity as an IT function but rather the responsibility of the entire organisation.

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