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Ref2: AT&T Business continuity study finds gaps in preparedness

Computer World<BR><br />
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First to worst: IT survey ranks 10 U.S. cities for disaster preparedness

Brian Fonseca

May 29, 2007 (Computerworld) While businesses in New York and Houston should feel comfortable about their chances of weathering natural or man-made disasters, the same cannot be said for Cleveland and Minneapolis/St. Paul-based organizations, according to a new AT&T Business Continuity study released on Tuesday.

AT&T surveyed 10 major U.S. metropolitan areas between Jan. 17 and Feb. 14 and found that New York is the most prepared of the group, followed by:

2) Houston

3) San Francisco

4) Boston

5) Memphis/Nashville

6) Atlanta

7) Chicago

8) Los Angeles

9) Minneapolis/St. Paul

10) Cleveland

The results included responses from about 1,000 corporate IT managers collectively from the 10 cities, noted officials of San Antonio-based AT&T.

The rankings were based primarily on three criteria: the state of a city's business continuity plan; whether the city has adequately educated employees about the plan and installed systems to implement it; and on cybersecurity policies and the use of managed security.

By far, the survey respondents said man-made disasters are the greatest threat to their organizations, and 82% said they have implemented cybersecurity plans to thwart them. The top man-made threats listed were viruses and worms by 75% of respondents, hackers by 45% and SPAM by 37%.

Business executives in major U.S. cities that have been impacted by natural or man-made disasters in the past, most notably New York, have set business continuity concerns as a major priority, AT&T found.

Government warnings of impending disasters do not seem to carry much weight to private sector IT executives, according to the survey results. Of business executives that have already gone through a disaster, only 41% said they take immediate action when alerts are issued by federal or state government agencies. The number dropped to 33% for companies in cities that haven't been hit with major disasters.

In fact, the 2007 AT&T Business Continuity Study found that overall, 30% of companies say that business continuity planning is not a priority.

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