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Many organizations struggling with disaster recovery

Ensuring the recovery of critical information in the wake of a disaster remains a major obstacle for the majority of organizations, according to a recent survey by information management company Iron Mountain.

Responses from 1,200 individuals responsible for protecting their organization’s data reveal a divide between disaster recovery awareness and action, and varying practices for how and when data is backed up.

When asked about their day-to-day data management challenges and practices, respondents indicated that:

  • 68 percent chose disaster recovery as their biggest data challenge;
  • Only 44 percent successfully recovered their information after a recent data recovery event, largely because it either took too long to recover (27 percent) or they did not have necessary files backed up (15 percent);
  • Less than half (48 percent) of respondents keep backup data offsite, while an equal number back it up on site, exposing it to potential loss;
  • When it comes to knowing what to keep and what to destroy, a key best practice for compliant data management, one-quarter (25 percent) keep all information, while only 17 percent have a formal, company-wide retention and destruction policy;
  • Only 20 percent of organizations surveyed rely on cloud technology, and companies with more 1,000 employees and/or more than 25TB of data were less likely to consider backing up to the cloud.

In response to these findings, Iron Mountain offers the following tips to help better manage data and improve disaster recovery practices:

  • When data grows, adapt and overcome – Consider the impact of information growth on the performance of backup and recovery processes. Companies of all sizes should make sure key policies for data retention and destruction can be adapted to help reduce data management vulnerabilities brought on by growth.
  • Keep what you need, destroy what you don’t – Think strategically about retention policies. By keeping only the information you need and destroying what you don’t, the amount of data you have to back up shrinks and processes run more efficiently.
  • Enforce the rules so everyone knows – Develop a comprehensive records retention and destruction policy that is applied across all business units and addresses all records, regardless of media, and update it every 12 to 18 months to reflect changes in regulations, industry and the business.
  • Treat backup data as a record – Backup data is discoverable in a court of law, as it may contain sensitive information governed by privacy laws and should be considered a record and managed in accordance with retention schedules.
  • When in doubt, move it out – If you’re unsure that you’re prepared for the unpredictability – and inevitability – of data loss from a disaster, moving data offsite is a key step in ensuring that your critical information is protected and can be available when you need it most.


•Date: 22nd November 2011 • Region: World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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