Survey: Law Firm Technology Professionals Rank Computer Hardware, Software Failures As Bigger Threats to IT Infrastructures, Ahead of Natural Disasters Like Fires, Floods
Firms agree disaster recovery plans are critical, worry about lack of
COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- A new worldwide survey of IT professionals at law firms reveals that IT professionals at law firms are more concerned about the immediate impact of IT failures, or so-called "daily disasters," than they are about larger natural disasters that routinely garner headlines. The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA), the premier peer networking organization in the legal market, conducted the survey in early November. The results from more than 300 law firms, being reported today, show respondents rated computer software failure (54%), computer hardware failure (45%) and lost or corrupted files (42%) as "high" potential threats, as opposed to fires (31%), tornadoes or hurricanes (19%), and floods (14%). The survey also reports more than seven out of ten of them are concerned that they may not have the budget they need to implement a complete disaster recovery plan, and finds the funding concern is especially pronounced among smaller law firms, those with 250 or fewer employees; more than one-third of survey respondents from those firms said they have not been given the adequate budget needed to meet their disaster recovery needs; almost half said they have been given funding, but only "to some degree." The survey also found that 70 percent of respondents expressed concern about their ability to recover critical data quickly enough to satisfy their firm's ability to do business, saying they are less than "very confident;" 77 percent of firms of 250 or fewer employees said it would take hours, even days, to recover key data and resume operations. "The survey results clearly confirm our belief that smaller and mid-sized firms face the critical need to protect their business systems and data, yet frequently perceive that they do not have the adequate financial resources to do so," said Sterling Wharton, Chief Executive Officer at Unitrends, the industry leader in making IT disasters insignificant events at small and mid- sized enterprises. "Like many mid-sized enterprises, they are seeking a cost- effective solution that enables them to rapidly recover their systems and data when IT failures and disasters occur." Wharton said that Unitrends' complete line of Rapid Recovery System(TM) appliances are specifically designed to address the disaster recovery issues covered in the survey. The appliances, he noted, are optimized for speed with disk-based backup and recovery, and feature integrated benefits like total system recovery, support across more than two dozen platforms and built-in capacity for offsite data vaulting. Wharton also stressed that firms of all sizes must prepare and regularly test a written disaster recovery plan. The ILTA survey reveals that while half of the responding law firms claim to have a written plan in place, fewer than 30 percent have either tested the plan to ensure its viability, or do not have a plan at all. Again, that trend is more prevalent among smaller and mid-sized firms: only three of eight firms with less than 250 employees that responded to the survey (37.5%) have tested a disaster recovery plan, leaving them susceptible to far greater damage when trouble occurs. "Ensuring recovery of data following systems failures or disasters is essential to the survival of any business. And law firms have an additional responsibility as trusted custodians of their clients' data," said Randi Mayes, ILTA's executive director. "As an industry, we are acutely aware of the need to protect data and have it rapidly accessible at any given point. Our recent BC/DR survey points out the need for us to be even more diligent in our efforts. Those firms that have not implemented or tested a recovery plan must recognize this critical objective, investigate solutions and provide sufficient funding to implement their plans." A summary of the survey's findings is available at http://www.unitrends.com/docs/BCDR_Results.pdf. About Unitrends Unitrends is the industry leader in making IT disasters insignificant events at small and mid-sized enterprises, and a pioneer in delivering Rapid Business System Recovery solutions to the market. Unitrends' full line of integrated data and system protection appliances provide powerful backup and recovery capabilities, helping firms safeguard the information and operating systems that keep them in business. More information on Unitrends is available from the company's website, www.unitrends.com or by calling +1.803.454.0300.
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