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Symantec: SMBs not fully equipped

Just under half of all SMBs have not fully locked down their networks and put in plans of action in the event of a disaster, study reveals.

Symantec: SMBs not fully equipped
Although almost half of SMBs have insecure defences against disaster, 90% said that they plan to work on it in the next 6 months.

There is a large discrepancy between how SMBs perceive their disaster readiness and their actual level of preparedness. That is according to Symantec's recently released 2009 SMB Disaster Preparedness Study.

In a study conducted by Symantec into the attitudes and practices of SMBs and their customers toward technology disaster preparedness, Symantec discovered that the average SMB organisation  has experienced three network outages within the past 12 months, with the leading causes being virus or hacker attacks, power outages or natural disasters.  It further described the alarming finding that almost half of those companies reported that they do not yet have a plan to deal with such disruptions.

"The startling part of this research is the fact that SMBs don't realise 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 of backup executive product management at 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 organisations 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."

The report concluded by offering advice to small to medium businesses to ensure that they are fully protected against the melee of threats and dangers  that can befall  networks today.  Included in the must do list was taking the time to decide what critical information should be secured and protected, engaging trusted industry advisors, implementing automated backup processes and carrying out annual disaster recovery tests.

Symantec says there is positive news to be taken from the responses of the SMBs canvassed. It also came to light in the study that although 47% of SMBs do not have a formal disaster preparedness plan, of those without plans, nearly 89% say they harbour plans to create one within the next six months.

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