More than half of Australian and New Zealand IT professionals have experienced a cyber attack in the last year that brought IT services to a halt for an average of 38 hours, according to a report.
Security firm Symantec's disaster recovery report placed average global outage times for cyber attacks at about 50 hours.
An October report by the company revealed that so-called politically-motivated attacks were on the rise, with the average attack costing $850,000 over five years.
The latest report found that up to 40 per cent of disaster recovery attempts fail due to inadequate infrastructure and short budgets.
In those attempts, both recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives were not met.
Almost every Australian ad New Zealand respondent to the report cited fires as the chief cause of outage. Power failures also ranked highly.
System upgrades were a pain for local professionals, with 93 per cent claiming it had caused an outage lasting more than a day, a figure that is about half of the global total of more than 50 hours.
Australian respondents reported almost half of their virtualised systems are not covered by disaster recovery plans, slightly ahead of the 60 percent global average. About a third of environments are virtualised and half of mission-critical applications reside in cloud environments.
Symantec claimed that 84 per cent of respondents sought to re-evaluate their disaster recovery plan after introducing virtualisation, and that only about 18 per cent performed multiple data backups each week.
Almost all local respondents said a lack of primary and backup storage hampers the ability to protect mission-critical data, while about half of global respondents thought the same.
Less Australians used clientless methods to reduce the impact of virtual machine backups than overseas.
They cited the biggest disaster recovery challenge in cloud computing as the ability to control failovers and make resources highly available.
Symantec systems engineer director Paul Lancaster said: "Businesses have not yet mastered the art of managing data across [virtual] environments, leaving mission-critical applications and data unprotected".
The company recommends businesses:
- Treat all environments the same
- Use integrated tool sets
- Simplify data protection processes
- Plan and automate to minimise downtime
- And don't cut corners: Organisations should implement basic technologies and processes that protect in case of an outage, and not take shortcuts that could have disastrous consequences.
The report was the sixth annual data recovery survey by the company. It polled some 1700 enterprises across the globe with at least 5000 staff.