The survey of 1,125 IT workers in full or part-time employment, carried out by technology services provider, Proband, found that 24% of UK SMEs don't have an IT disaster recovery plan in place and that despite the startling fact that 80% of businesses who have suffered a major incident fail within 18 months.
Even those companies with a plan seemingly never test it (or only test it on rare occasions), according to the research.
"This inertia leaves companies open to potential risk, as testing may flag any issues or flaws within the DR process, before it’s needed in a real-world scenario," said Matt Royle, Proband's marketing director.
Effective disaster recovery plans ensure businesses can get back up and running in the shortest possible time in the event of a natural or human induced disaster.
Of those workers who are employed at a business which does have a disaster recovery plan in place, as many as 54% revealed that it is not regularly tested - a practice which would identify and fix any potential flaws in their DR process.
In fact, 1 in 3 (33%) of IT workers claim that their company’s disaster recovery plan has never been tested during their employment.
The data also shows almost 1 in 10 (8%) of UK businesses do not have automated file backups in place at all.
“We have found that nearly a quarter (24%) of SME’s don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, in real terms, this figure represents just under 1.4 million UK businesses who, in a worst case scenario, are at serious risk of failing due to insufficient disaster recovery plans that include simple data backup and recovery," said Royle,
“It’s imperative for businesses to have and test a DR plan, as this ensures they are able to get back to business after a disaster quickly and efficiently. For example, if an e-commerce company was hit by a catastrophic fire, flood, or cyber attack, they could potentially lose all of their electronic data and files. With no disaster recovery plan that includes infrastructure to backup and recover business critical data, or facilities to remotely access it, the business is rendered inoperable.”
In conclusion the report urges companies to put a DR plan in place and then. "test, test, test!”