Nearly Nine Out of Ten UK Businesses Take Proactive Approach to Security: AT&T Study

Investments made in cloud services and mobile applications as organizations increasingly recognize importance of network security

PR Newswire

LONDON, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In the wake of unexpected weather, cybersecurity threats and new ways of working in recent times, business continuity planning has started to make its mark on the UK's enterprise technology landscape. As AT&T* prepares to host its third European Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Forum (BCDR) this week, pre-event research has revealed that British businesses have continued to grow and advance their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to incorporate the adoption of wireless network capabilities, cloud services and mobile applications.

In a survey of 100 UK businesses with annual revenue of over $25 million, the 2013 AT&T Business Continuity Study found that more than three quarters of executives surveyed (76 percent) cited the looming threat of security breaches as their most important security concern for 2013. In addition, 87 percent of those surveyed understand the increasing importance of security and indicate that their companies have a proactive strategy in place.

  • 94 percent of executives indicate their organizations have a business continuity plan in place in case of a disaster or threat.
  • Two thirds (65 percent) of companies implement specific protective actions when the UK government issues an alert for an impending disaster.
  • 83 percent of executives are concerned about the use of mobile networks and devices and its impact on security threats.
  • Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of companies include their wireless network capabilities as part of their business continuity plan.

With the increase in IT budgets, companies are increasingly utilizing the cloud for their business continuity plans to help minimize the impact of potential threats and disasters.

  • Three-fourths (77 percent) of companies are using cloud services or plan to invest in cloud services in 2013. Of those surveyed, 63 percent already include cloud services as part of their corporate infrastructure.
  • Two-thirds (69 percent) of companies are using or considering using cloud services to augment their business continuity strategy.
  • For disaster recovery purposes, 50 percent of companies plan on utilizing cloud computing for data storage.
  • Nearly half (48 percent) of companies are likely to invest in Software-as-a-Service in 2013.

Mobile security is a key area of concern and investment, although many firms have yet to come to grips with managing BYOD.

  • The vast majority (83 percent) of executives are concerned about the use of mobile networks and devices and its impact on security threats.
  • The majority (61 percent) of UK organizations invest in mobile security services.
  • Over half (54 percent) of executives indicate that fewer than half of their employees use mobile devices that are maintained by the IT department.
  • Only four out of 10 (40 percent) companies have a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy in place.

Although natural disasters have been a traditional driver of business continuity planning, today companies are also looking beyond to the impact of network security events – and expanding their disaster plans accordingly.

  • Three-quarters (76 percent) of companies indicated that their business continuity plan accommodates the possibility of a network security event.
  • Three-quarters (75 percent) of companies are taking proactive or reactive measures to protect against distributed denial of services (DDoS) attacks.
  • Two-fifths (43 percent) are taking proactive measure by identifying potential attacks with DDoS protection services.
  • The majority of organizations (61 percent) surveyed invest in mobile security services; 69 percent are currently defending against malware while 68 percent take proactive measures against loss and theft.

"The research results show us that UK businesses are not taking any chances when it comes to protecting their technology infrastructure and assets," said Dave Langhorn, Vice President, UK and Ireland, AT&T. "Business continuity planning has gone from being a theoretical possibility to a practical and very real priority, with many organizations investing in new technologies such as cloud services to help strengthen and expand their overall continuity strategies."

AT&T offers a wide array of business continuity services, encompassing disaster planning, risk management and recovery preparedness. In addition, services such as business-impact analysis, risk assessments, enterprise hosting, cloud computing and application services, a full continuum of storage solutions, high-availability network solutions and network and IT security solutions can be important components of a company's business continuity plans.

Held in Amsterdam this year, AT&T's annual international BCDR events provide an opportunity for AT&T to both practise and share its know-how and global expertise in handling network and customer disruptions. Joining AT&T on the day will be representatives from Telecoms Sans Frontieres, the only NGO in the world specializing in emergency telecommunications and new technologies. AT&T has supported TSF for more than ten years.

AT&T has invested more than $600 million in its Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) program, which includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians, as well as a fleet of more than 320 self-contained equipment trailers and support vehicles that house the same equipment and components as an AT&T data-routing or voice-switching center. Roughly $15 million of this investment has been dedicated to the international markets and in recent years exercises have been held in the UK and Germany.

For more information see the 2013 AT&T Business Continuity Study, including complete research results, regional findings and year-over-year comparisons.

Study Methodology
The 2013 AT&T Business Continuity Study is based on a national sample of 100 online surveys among Information Technology (IT) executives in U.K. companies.  The study was conducted by Research Now with companies having total revenues of more than $25 million. Surveys were obtained between April 30 and May 2, 2013.

All participating executives have primary responsibility for business continuity planning, and 76 percent represent companies with locations outside the UK.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company and one of the most honored companies in the world. Its subsidiaries and affiliates – AT&T operating companies – are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and internationally. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's largest 4G network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet, voice and cloud-based services. A leader in mobile Internet, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide of any U.S. carrier, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries.  It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T │DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world.

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