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IT under threat, says Veritas

It's 10pm, do you know where your DR plan is?

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Storage Expo IT managers are more aware than ever of threats to their operations, yet many still have no disaster recovery plans - and two thirds keep their DR plan in the data centre, where it will be destroyed by the same fire that knocks out the IT systems. Worse, they could be ignoring invisible risks such as software patches.

That's according to a survey of IT managers in large organisations, commissioned by Veritas. More than half of those questioned feel at threat from man-made disasters and internal risks such as employee misbehaviour, it says, while nearly three-quarters feel exposed to external threats such as viruses and hackers,

"This feeling of threat is something I haven't seen before," says Chris Boorman, EMEA marketing veep at Veritas. "This whole climate of threat is intriguing."

Boorman wants organisations to plan for disasters and test those plans regularly, but says few are doing so at present, although he notes that 10 percent say they have already had to execute their DR strategy in response to a natural disaster.

"There are 41,400 fires on UK commercial premises that require Fire Brigade assistance every year, according to statistics from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister - that's 112 a day," he says.

"There has been a significant increase in the perception of threat, yet 44 per cent of companies have no idea how long it would take them to get running again, and only 20 per cent think they'd have even skeletal operations back within 12 hours. The average time to get mostly-running again is estimated as four days, and for normal operations it's six and a half days."

He warns though that even as companies plan to recover from fires and hack attacks, they are failing to check the effectiveness of software patches or review their DR plans to keep pace.

On the plus side, he says more companies - 31 per cent, up from 22 per cent last year - are involving the board in their DR plans, and fewer of them claim they are too small, or the risks too low, to need such a plan. ®

Reg coverage from Storage Expo '04

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