Tag Archives: Asia

Asia Unprepared For Disaster: Symantec reveal SMBs in Asia have no DR

Studies have indicated that SMBs (small and medium sized businesses) in the Asia-Pacific region are simply not prepared enough to deal with IT disasters, as only 48% of companies have Disaster Recovery procedures in place.

Symantec found that 12% of Asia Pacific SMBs had no form of DR plan whatsoever and 44% of these did not consider computer systems critical to their business. A further 28% stated that disaster preparedness was not a top priority.

Such a lack of preparation is surprising considering the typical SMB experienced 5 outages within the last 12 months. The leading causes of this were cyber attacks, power outages, upgrades and employee errors.

The data at the heart of such SMBs is simply not protected. Less than half of all SMBs back up their data weekly and only 21% backup daily. Forty-five percent of businesses said that they would loose at least 40% of their data in the event of a disaster, and it is estimated that such an outage would cost their customers up to $45,000 per day. This is one of the main issues in that a disaster not only affects the vendor directly, but also their end clients.

The survey revealed that most businesses are not making disaster recovery a main priority until they experience some form of significant data loss. Fifty-four percent of businesses which have put some form of implementation in place have done so in the last six months. However only 28% of companies have actually tried and tested their disaster recovery procedures, which is critical to being prepared.

Findings also reveal that the cost of being unprepared is huge, placing an SMB under real risk of going out of business. The survey revealed that in addition to costing hundreds of thousands of dollars, any downtime often causes customers to take their business elsewhere.

“Disasters are unpredictable and can happened due to natural causes, human errors or IT systems failures. SMBs which handle sensitive data such as customer records, credit card details or personal files, cannot afford to risk data loss incidents,” said David Dzienciol, Symantec’s vice president for SMB and Channels, Asia Pacific and Japan.

“The research shows that SMBs still haven’t recognised the tremendous impact of a disaster. Simple planning can enable SMBs to protect their information in the event of a disaster, which in turn will help them build trust with their customers.”

In India for instance it is thought that SMBs have yet to recognise the huge impact which disaster can have according to Vineet Sood, the head of channels and alliances at Symantec India.

SMBs must act quickly to put Disaster Recovery Procedures in place and ensure that data is secure, in any eventuality.

Top reason for data loss is human error, new study finds

Research into the biggest causes of data loss has concluded that human error is the primary reason for most incidents and it appears to have grown in significance over the years.

Software firm Kroll Ontrack carried out the survey and in 40 per cent of cases it was deemed that human error was attributable with being the main cause of data loss. This compares unfavourably with the fact that only 29 per cent of data loss is caused by the failure of computer hardware or IT systems.

The survey notes that a similar study carried out in 2005 found that only 11 per cent of data loss was as a direct result of human error, with 56 per cent the fault of hardware disasters and a spokesperson for Kroll Ontrack said that it was startled by the dramatic shift in the recently gathered statistics.

Data loss caused by viruses rose to seven per cent, up from three and external disasters that require business continuity planning were the cause of three per cent of data loss incidents, which is a two per cent increase over the findings of the 2005 study.

200 respondents from 17 international destinations across Europe, Asia and North America took part in the study and people from all sectors were considered, including hackers.

The 40 per cent human error figure does need some qualification, because it includes people who simply asserted that a human was to blame for a particular incident of data loss, while only 27 per cent of respondents could actually prove this to be the case. The only thing to conclude from this is that the reporting and investigation of data loss incidents is not always conclusive and as such many professionals are forced to make assumptions.

Protecting data and performing regular data back ups, securely is much discussed in the business world, but the statistics show that many are unsure of their responsibilities and the vulnerabilities of certain data handling policies, leading to an increase in human error. Kroll Ontrack’s Todd Johnson urges users and businesses to tackle threats head-on, enhancing training and keeping contingency plans available to help overcome the impact of serious data loss.

Cost of data loss is £200,000 annually, study finds

A report into the average costs of data loss to small and medium-sized UK businesses (SMBs) has concluded that each has spent the equivalent of £200,000 in the past 12 months.

Over 2000 SMBs from the EU and further afield in Asia and Africa took part in the survey conducted by Symantec and it found that in excess of 66 per cent of respondents consider data loss as the most significant threat facing their enterprises in the current climate.

Although this highlights the severity of the risks associated with data loss, it does suggest that many more businesses are willing to accept these risks and more importantly understand that there is a great weight or responsibility imposed by storing private data in the first place. In previous years the survey has been unable to reach such a tentatively positive conclusion.

In the 2010 SMB Information Protection Survey various areas of data protection were covered and the growth of smartphone usage was tackled, with 28 per cent of respondents confirming that their multitasking mobiles were password protected, suggesting that this is a weakness that could be easily exploited by malicious third parties.

Business continuity planning was also taken into account in the survey and only 18 per cent of respondents said that their own internal contingency plans were rated between good and excellent, which suggests there is still a lack of understanding in this area.

Attacks on data storage and IT systems over the past twelve months were noted by 77 per cent of those questioned, whilst a quarter of respondents said that these attacks had serious ramifications.

The financial impact of these attacks on some of the smaller businesses is clearly significant, with the total averaging at £202,000 for each and every respondent. 52 per cent of those who registered data loss in the past year said that it had occurred as a result of theft.

UK security expert Ross Walker said SMBs were waking up to the problems facing them because of the rise in data loss and cyber attacks. He also pointed out that protecting data stored on smartphones would have to become a priority if further scandals and embarrassment are to be avoided.

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