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New research reveals that just 35 per cent of UK organisations have full confidence in their current disaster recovery (D.R.) plans - at the same time, less than half have complete confidence in their current backup solution

The findings were taken from Databarracks' annual Data Health Check survey. Now in its 11th year, the survey questioned over 400 IT decision-makers in the UK on a series of critical issues relating to IT, security, disaster recovery and business continuity practices. From a DR and backup perspective, key findings include:

• 35 per cent of respondents said they are very confident in their current DR plans
• Over half (53 per cent) said they are fairly confident, with 8 per cent having concerns
• As for backup solutions, the proportion of those who are very confident sits at 49 per cent

Peter Groucutt, Managing Director at Databarracks, commented on the findings: "Over the last year, we haven't seen a huge amount of progress in DR and backup confidence. At the same time, the number of cyber-threats has continued to grow as a cause of both data loss and downtime - the Norsk Hydro ransomware incident is a leading example. Organisations are lacking something in terms of disaster recovery strategy, and the policies, procedures and technology needed to execute this strategy. It's hard to function confidently as a business if you're unsure of how well you'd cope if disaster struck - whether that's cyber-related or something else like a power outage."

Part of the problem - and also a clue to the solution - lies in the current approaches companies are taking: almost a quarter (23 per cent) of respondents do not have offsite backups. 13 per cent of organisations never test backups and 42 per cent have not tested DR processes in the last 12 months. It is these areas that need to be sharpened up to increase confidence in the next 12 months.

Groucutt goes on: "Frequent testing and having offsite copies of data should be crucial pillars of any DR and Business Continuity strategy. This doesn't need to be expensive or difficult - it's simply a case of taking the right steps to improve resilience. Find ways to make testing part of your day-to-day operations. If there is a public transport strike, test your remote working practices. Whenever you need to make updates to IT systems, test backups. Exercise these processes on a consistent basis, and staff and the business will always be ready to act when an incident does strike."

24 per cent of respondents said their biggest worry in a disaster is lost revenue, and 17 per cent cited reputational damage. Groucutt added: "These concerns are actually very reasonable. This year we've seen disasters cause both but we can minimise, or even eliminate these consequences with good Business Continuity planning. Conduct a Business Impact Analysis (BIA). Determine the potential effects of disruption to critical business operations."

"Decide what is important for your business and how you might be affected if something happened to your people, premises, IT or suppliers. Then, put plans and workarounds in place to keep you operational," Groucutt concludes. "With a clear vision and strategy you'll be in a position to tackle any incident with confidence."
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