IT disaster recovery, cloud computing and information security news

Syncsort has published the results of its ‘2018 State of Resilience’ report. This year’s responses underscore the increased pressure IT leaders are feeling to ensure security, high availability and disaster recovery.

The report, which compiles results from several surveys of 5,632 IT professionals globally, looked at the data protection strategies and key IT initiatives companies are deploying in the face of ongoing, high-profile hacking attacks, data breaches, disruptive natural disasters and escalating storage and data accessibility needs.

Highlights include:

Security and compliance

Security tops planned initiatives. While business continuity/high availability (47 percent) is IT’s top concern, security is the top initiative companies will pursue in the next 24 months (49 percent) with investments in virus and malware protection, patch management and intrusion detection/ prevention. For IBM Power users, 52 percent will focus security investments on compliance auditing and reporting and tape is the predominant protection technology (71 percent), followed by software/logical replication (53 percent) and hardware/storage replication (51 percent).

Internal security audits infrequent. Nearly two-thirds of companies perform security audits on their systems, but the most common schedule was annual (39 percent). Another 10 percent audit every two years or more, which, given an ever-changing IT environment, could expose a company to risk. 73 percent of IBM Power users had their systems audited for security, with 42 percent auditing once a year.

Cloud is a top security challenge. IT leaders are entrusting critical applications to the cloud, but with concerns. 43 percent identify it as their top security challenge for the coming year, followed by sophistication of attacks (37 percent) and ransomware (35 percent).

High availability and disaster recovery

Availability is the top measure of IT performance. IT is not only being measured on functional IT disciplines, but also on impact to customers and business users. Availability/uptime led at 67 percent, followed by application performance (49 percent) and customer satisfaction (47 percent).

Disaster recovery plans need shoring up. Nearly half of businesses experienced a failure requiring a high availability/disaster recovery solution to resume operations. 35 percent lost a few minutes to an hour of data, 28 percent lost a few hours and 31 percent lost a day or more. Only half of businesses are meeting their recovery time objective (RTO) and, despite known risks, 85 percent of respondents had no recovery plan or were less than 100 percent confident in their plan.

System migrations and data sharing

Migrations are a weak point in business resilience. While many companies are undergoing migrations to upgrade outdated technology (68 percent), improve performance (50 percent) and consolidate servers (42 percent), 42 percent have experienced a migration failure and 68 percent reported their systems were down between one and 48 hours during the last migration. The majority (66 percent) of IBM Power users, though, had not experienced a migration failure.

Data sharing critical but challenging. 53 percent of companies had multiple databases and share data to improve business intelligence, largely through scripting (42 percent), followed by backup/restore/ snapshot processes and FTP/SCP/file transfer at 38 percent each. The most common method for IBM Power users to share data between databases was FTP/SCP/file transfer (52 percent). The average company uses two different methods, adding to the complexity.


In total, 5,632 IT professionals from around the world responded to the survey, with titles varying widely, from CIO, CTO, Global Director of IT Infrastructure, and VP of Technical Support, to Senior Infrastructure Architect, Cloud Engineer, Database Administrator, and Manager of Server Operations. The survey was administered online between January 2017 to July 2017.

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