US Signal: 70% of U.S. businesses saw unplanned IT disruptions in past year

GRAND RAPIDS — More than two-thirds of businesses in the United States have experienced at least one unplanned IT disruption over the past 12 months, according to the 2018 IT Resiliency Survey from US Signal, the Grand Rapids-based connectivity and IT services provider.

The survey showed that 66 percent of respondents believe they are vulnerable to IT disruption in the future, with one in 10 feeling “very vulnerable.”

The most common forms of IT disruptions, in order, were:
* Outages from natural disasters (53 percent)
* Errors while implementing new technology (26 percent)
* Ransomware (21 percent)
* IT overloads (21 percent)

The survey goes on to reveal that although 58 percent of businesses say they have a disaster recovery plan in place, they feel there is room for improvement. In addition, one in five respondents admitted that they are not sure how often their disaster recovery strategy is updated — and 8 percent do not have one to begin with.

These findings imply that many businesses have not yet come to grips with planning, implementing or reviewing disaster recovery strategies and that some could benefit from third-party support in either developing, managing or maintaining their disaster recovery plan.

Ensuring that corporate disaster recovery strategies are in line with new compliance legislation, such as the General Data Protection Regulation, was a key concern within the survey, with nearly one quarter of U.S. businesses revealing they were either not confident or were unsure that their current plan was strong enough to meet compliance requirements. GDPR compliance is a key requirement for all businesses that interact with European Union citizen data, with high fines and prosecution possible from the EU courts if adherence is not maintained.

“The results of US Signal’s 2018 IT Resiliency Survey should sound a wake-up call to businesses across the country,” said US Signal president Stephen Oyer. “Disaster recovery strategies have to be planned, tested, implemented, modified and updated on a regular basis, and it’s clear that this is not happening in many instances. Companies need to recruit the right IT talent either in-house or through external consultants and invest in the best IT solutions to stay ahead of the game — whether that’s planning for natural disasters or fighting off the latest malware or virus. If they fail to do so, businesses risk being hit by the high costs associated with unplanned IT downtime.”

To learn more, view the full survey at

US Signal’s IT Resiliency Survey was carried out in July and August 2018 and is based on information gathered from more than 50 IT professionals from a cross-section of sectors. The insights were collected via Survey Monkey.

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