Latin American SMEs among least prepared for disaster, says Symantec

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

In Latin America, 54% of small and medium-sized companies lack a disaster recovery plan, according to a study on SME disaster preparedness, by US security firm Symantec (Nasdaq: SYMC).

The study found that those SMEs that do not have disaster plans do not see disaster preparation as a priority unless they have previously experienced an incident.

Lack of preparation is likely to cost the companies money sooner or later, as the survey found that downtime can cost Latin American SMEs an average of US$12,250 a day. Additionally, downtime can lead to loss of clients or even having to shut down the company. Globally, customers reported that these outages cost them US$10,000 a day.

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Out of 23 countries surveyed around the world, companies in Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica and the Caribbean were least-prepared for disasters, rounding out the bottom five just behind the Philippines and Vietnam. Mexico scored slightly better than the rest of Latin America, but still remained in the bottom half, tied as the eighth least prepared with Italy, France and Germany.

Symantec's suggestions for disaster preparation at small and medium-sized companies include not waiting until it is too late, protecting information completely, getting employees involved, frequently testing plans and reviewing plans on a quarterly basis. The study surveyed 1,840 respondents worldwide.