Eight in Ten Chicago Businesses Ready for Disaster
Annual AT&T Study Finds Chicago Businesses Most Concerned About Cyber Security
Chicago, Illinois, June 2, 2008
Whether a severe storm or virtual virus, the majority of Chicago businesses are prepared to protect and maintain their business operations during a disaster, according to AT&T's (NYSE: T) annual study on business continuity and disaster recovery planning in the U.S. private business sector. Three out of four Chicago businesses — tied with North Carolina as the highest of the markets surveyed — view business continuity planning as a priority, and 81 percent have a business continuity plan in place.
More than half of the 100 local information technology executives indicated their businesses had updated their business continuity plans in the past 12 months, with 43 percent also testing current plans to ensure continued productivity amidst a disaster. As components of these plans, 65 percent of Chicago executives indicated their companies have set target recovery times for individual key business operations while 85 percent have special arrangements for communicating with executives during a disaster.
"Chicago's private business community continues to take critical steps to protect and preserve the world-class business operations that drive local and global economies," said Jerry Gerami, regional vice president, AT&T Global Business Services. "Chicago businesses, like others across the country, have experienced major operation changes this past year, and they lead their peers in reflecting these changes in advanced business continuity planning. It's this forward, proactive thinking that ensures the most vibrant business and residential communities here in Chicago — at anytime."
As for those threats that keep local executives up at night, 56 percent of Chicago executives viewed cyber security as a main vulnerability, with 35 percent rating it a top concern — the highest of all markets surveyed. As such, 72 percent of Chicago businesses' current continuity plans directly address cyber security threats and recovery steps. Hacking (72 percent), internal accidents (60 percent) and internal sabotage (52 percent) were top-rated concerns for the upcoming years, as businesses become more and more wireless, housing almost all essential information and operations on a central network.
Many companies in Chicago and around the globe use hosted environments as a measure of business continuity planning, housing vital business information and activity in one of AT&T's 38 global Internet Data Centers. More than complexity and customization, local executives were most concerned about hosted environments' security (69 percent), cost (65 percent) and reliability (60 percent). However, Chicago executives indicated that their companies had experienced the fewest problems (22 percent) with insufficient storage space for virtual records in a hosted environment than the other markets surveyed.
AT&T brings its own business continuity and disaster recovery expertise in running and managing some of the world's largest and most complex networks — including its own — to businesses worldwide. AT&T offers multiple business continuity services that provide enterprises with disaster planning, business-impact analysis, risk assessments, and storage, network and IT security solutions.
The company also conducts Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) exercises several times a year that test, refine and strengthen AT&T's business continuity and disaster-response services. The most recent exercise was held in May at Chicago's Solider Field. By simulating large-scale disasters and network service disruptions, AT&T can apply and refine best practices for rapidly restoring communications to a city's government and business customers. Throughout the past 10 years, AT&T has invested more than $500 million in its NDR program, which includes specially-trained employees across the United States, as well as a fleet of more than 150 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles.
For more information on the AT&T 2008 Business Continuity Study, visit www.att.com/biz_continuity_study.
The 2008 AT&T Business Continuity Study is based on results from a telephone survey of 500 Information Technology (IT) executives in five U.S. metropolitan/regional areas, including Chicago, New York, North Carolina (Charlotte/Raleigh/Greensboro), Seattle/Portland and South-Central Texas (San Antonio, Austin, Houston). The sample of participating companies was drawn from Dun and Bradstreet's business list of companies with at least $25 million in revenue located in each of the five areas. The metropolitan areas are based on DMAs (Designated Market Areas). Interviewing was conducted between April 2 and April 17, 2008, and the interviews averaged 10 minutes in length.
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