Companies fail to test disaster recovery plans

Only 35% of companies test their disaster recovery plans at least once a year, research by security company, Symantec reveals.

Only 35% of companies test their disaster recovery plans at least once a year, according to research by security company Symantec.

Companies blamed the potential disruption to customers and employees and a lack of resources, time and budget for failing to test their recovery plans more often.

Disaster recovery budgets are higher in 2009, the study showed. They are expected to remain flat over the next few years, requiring IT professionals to achieve more with the same or fewer resources.

The average cost of executing and implementing disaster recovery plans for each downtime incident worldwide is $287,600. One in four plans failed after testing, and 93% of organisations had to change their disaster recovery plans following trials.

Darren Thomson, senior technical director at Symantec, said: "We are troubled that some areas – including the impact of testing on customers and the backing up of virtual environments – have not improved or have even worsened."

Recommendations 
 Reduce the costs of downtime by using automation tools and address other weaknesses in disaster recovery plans.
 Organisations should improve their testing success rate by evaluating and implementing scenarios which do not disrupt the business
 Organisations should include people responsible for virtualisation in their disaster recovery plans, especially in testing and backup initiatives. Virtual environments should be treated in the same way as physical servers.

 

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