Tuesday, January 25, 2011

IT solutions provider warns SMBs vs cyberattacks, disasters

An information technology solutions provider advised small and mid-sized businesses to protect themselves from damages caused by natural disasters, "before it's too late."

In a press briefing last week, Symantec Corporation executives revealed that a recent survey they conducted showed that most small and medium businesses only availed of protection for data loss after experiencing it.

"The recent Symantec SMB Disaster Preparedness Survey revealed that SMBs in the Philippines still have not recognized the negative impacts of these unforeseen circumstances in their business," Symantec Philippines Senior Country Manager, Luichi Robles said in a press release.

"Despite warnings, most SMBs are still not prepared," Raymond Goh, Symantec's Director for Systems Engineering and Customer Advisory Services in the Asia South Region said, adding that "SMBs are at risk...[and] they are not sufficiently prepared."

Symantec said that SMBs were most vulnerable to power outages, cyberattacks, employee errors and other unforeseen disasters, which could cause business disruptions, data loss, financial loss, and the loss of customers' trust.

Edwin Tiotuyco, Symantec's Manager for Channel and Territory Sales said that they surveyed 1288 SMBs and 552 SMB customers back in November 2010. More than half, he said, did not have a disaster preparedness plan and were set to lose $14,500 a day if hit by a disaster.

Tiotuyco said that they found out that nine percent of the SMBs they surveyed "have no plan to create a plan" but that 42% "intend to create a plan in the future."
Symantec said that the lack of plans for data protection of most SMBs was "surprising given that in the past 12 months, the typical SMB experienced five [power] outages."

Half of the customers surveyed in the Philippines also said that they would shift vendors if their SMB was badly affected by a natural disaster. Thirty-nine percent of the customer respondents revealed that their vendors have shut down because of disasters.

Symantec also cited that the results of the survey also showed that 33% of the SMB customers surveyed in the Philippines said that they have lost some important data due to previous disasters which affected their vendors.

"SMBs need to be proactive and plan ahead to prepare themselves in facing business disruptions due to disasters as these have negative impacts such as business disruptions, data loss, financial loss and the loss of trust with customers," Goh stressed, noting that SMBs should also prioritize their efforts to prevent data loss as it can cause "a big negative financial impact."

Symantec advised SMBs to map out their disaster preparedness plan before they would actually encounter one; implement appropriate security and back-up solutions to protect files; get their employees involved in data protection; frequently test data recovery plans; and regularly review disaster preparedness plans.

"By doing some simple planning, SMBs can protect their information and minimize downtime during disasters," he said.

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