British SMEs not prepared for data storage failures

A third of SMEs in the UK are placing their business operations at risk by not securing data at an off-site location, according to new research.


One in three companies are storing their data back-ups on site, according to Onyx Group and Computing magazine, leaving many at risk should something go wrong.


Questions were posed to a number of IT managers at SMEs across the country and less than half said they backed up data off-site at a secure data centre.


Losing this data could pose a massive risk to business continuity and could put the companies concerned under incredible pressure.


Minority of SMEs bucking the wider trend


However, it was not all bad news as 16% of businesses said they were confident that their disaster recovery procedures were as good as they possibly could be.


A further 14% were unsure if their systems could be improved, suggesting greater levels of information need to be provided.


Neil Stephenson, chief executive at Onyx Group, highlighted that the findings showed that more needed to be done to ensure stability in SMEs across the UK.


“This research shows a real lack of confidence in existing disaster recovery procedures and an obvious need to review and improve the business continuity plans that many UK SMEs currently have in place,” he said.


“It paints a worrying picture of how UK SMEs would deal with issues such as theft, fire, flooding, hardware failures, power outages or human error that all place business continuity at risk.


“Just 18 percent of those surveyed thought that they would be able to limit disruption suffered by such an event to a couple of hours, meaning the large majority of companies risk significant damage to both revenue and reputation.”


In exceptional circumstances this could lead to wholesale business recovery measures being required to ensure continued trading.


Cloud computing is a solution used by some companies, but concerns over security with some providers mean the uptake is slow.


However, IT is an important aspect of business for many SMEs and it is surprising that many SMEs are treating IT issues with so little care. 


By Phil Smith


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