Small firms have inadequate business continuity planning

A new report into disaster recovery measures used by small and medium-sized enterprises has shown that a vast majority are failing to adequately prepare for worst case scenarios.

The British Insurance Broker’s Association (BIBA) has revealed that 80 per cent of all small businesses are forced to close after a typical disaster befalls them, with most lasting less than 18 months after a catastrophe.

Loss of data, hardware failure, fire and theft are all common problems which can befall small businesses and without planning ahead for disasters, recovery is often impossible.

BIBA has forwarded its findings to the government and it hopes that by highlighting the issue with demonstrable evidence it will be able to raise awareness and ideally drive a decrease in the number of disasters from which small businesses are unable to recover.

BIBA’s Steve Foulsham said that over the last 4 years there have been some improvements, but far too often small businesses are leaving their fates to chance by neglecting to consider the impact of data loss and other disasters.

Mr Foulsham said that the simplest step any small business could take would be to contact their current insurance provider and check as to what kind of protection they are afforded under their current policy. If they then feel that they do not have the necessary cover to ensure that they can continue operation in the face of adversity then a change is advised.

BIBA hopes to work with the government in order to ensure that businesses of all sizes have properly protected themselves with continuity plans and disaster recovery procedures.

A commentator who regularly writes on the state of the small business sector told an American publication that data loss still posed the biggest threat for growing and indeed established enterprises and also commented that utilising third party vendors and cloud computing backup techniques would help to cushion the impact of such events.

It is clear that data loss and business continuity remain relatively overlooked by small businesses, although it is to be hoped that with support from the public sector and improved publicity surrounding the potential problems, the future will not hold too many problems for the well-prepared.

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