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AT&T Study: For Baltimore- And Dc-Area Businesses, Business Continuity Planning A Serious Priority

WASHINGTON, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The results of a study recently announced by AT&T* indicate that local businesses are preparing for unforeseen business disruptions, from natural disasters to terrorist attacks and cyber security threats, by taking proactive measures to protect their operations.

According to the survey of 101 Information Technology (IT) executives at companies with at least $25M in revenue in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas, business continuity planning is seen as a "priority" by three-fourths of local executives, with the majority (79 percent) indicating they currently have a plan in place. Approximately one-third indicate it has become a priority in recent years due to cyber security concerns, natural disasters and terrorist threats.

Key Findings of the 2009 AT&T Business Continuity Study in DC/Baltimore:

  • Businesses are increasingly focused on mobility. Six out of 10 companies (60 percent) now include  wireless network capabilities as part of their continuity plans.
  • Businesses are concerned with the potential vulnerability of mobile networks, social networking and hacking. While there is an obvious, increased demand for wireless network capabilities, three out of four executives remain concerned about the vulnerability of mobile networks and devices.  Additionally, 80 percent of executives feel an added pressure with the pervasive use of social networking and its potential impact on security.  However, hacking still continues to be listed as the biggest security risk to companies, compared to other threats.
  • Disruptions from natural disasters have led businesses to take proactive actions. About one-third of the surveyed companies said they have experienced a natural or man-made disaster that affected IT operations. As part of a business continuity plan, the majority of executives (65 percent) indicated their companies now implement specific protective actions when the federal or state government issues an alert for an impending disaster.
  • While budgets may be decreasing, investment in new technologies continues. Despite the challenges of today's economy, the survey found the majority of companies (66 percent) are continuing to invest in new technologies in 2009, many of which support these efforts.
  • Continuity plans now include special arrangements for communicating with employees. In the event of disaster, the vast majority indicate that they have special arrangements for communicating with key executives (85 percent), e-mail or text messaging to reach employees outside of work (87 percent), and systems in place for employees to work from home or remote locations (76 percent).

"With the ongoing reliance on technology and always-evolving list of potential network threats, many local businesses not only recognize the importance of continuity planning but are taking action to ensure that their operations are never interrupted, even in the event of a major security breach or unexpected disaster," said Anthony Leggio, regional vice president, Global Enterprise Solutions, AT&T. "Businesses must remain vigilant about continuity planning and also have their plans tested and updated to help ensure they are fully prepared to restore key processes and operations at times when it is needed most."

AT&T conducts Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) exercises several times a year. On July 14-16, AT&T will conduct its largest exercise to date at the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington, D.C. These events are designed to test, refine and strengthen AT&T's business continuity and disaster recovery services in order to minimize network downtime.

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