half of firms have 'no failover protection'

Over half of businesses have no failover protection against the loss of network connectivity, according to a survey.

Some 56 percent of British firms do not have a secondary system in place ready for network outages, the survey found. This was in spite of 51 percent experiencing at least one outage last year.

Nearly six in 10 of those companies that experienced an outage said they could have avoided the problem by having a secondary connection.

The survey of 110 executives found that companies were very concerned about the potential loss of employee productivity in the event of an outage, with four in five stating this was a worry. Some 56 percent highlighted concerns over reduced customer service, twenty five percent feared damaged reputation and 16 percent were worried about lost sales.

With nearly nine in 10 of the firms offering remote working, some 72 percent of them said they feared loss of connectivity for those staff.

Graham McLean, managing director at managed network supplier CI-Net, which commissioned the survey, said it was "surprising" that so many firms did not have secondary connections when they were so worried about connectivity.

"It is possible to lose connectivity in a number of ways, including physical faults, accidents, natural disasters or even terror tactics," McLean said. "Some of these incidents such as cables being damaged by road works, power failures and flooding of underground conduits are more common than many people think."

These threats put companies' infrastructure, software and operations "at risk", he said.

McLean urged businesses to use automatic failover systems for all connections to prevent disruption. Providing wired and wireless connections, and using different suppliers for different links, could provide extra resilience, he said.

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