Cyber attacks and data breaches remain top business concerns

The top threats to business revealed

Cyber attack is once again the top threat perceived by businesses, according to research published today by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) in association with BSI (British Standards Institution). Eighty eight percent of organizations are either ‘extremely concerned’ or ‘concerned’ about the possibility of a cyber attack. The threat of a data breach remains in second place (81 percent), while unplanned IT and telecom outage stays in third place (80 per cent).

For the first time in the study’s six-year history, the threat of uncertainty around the introduction of new laws and regulations has entered the list of top ten business continuity concerns in the Horizon Scan Report.

These external events underscore the interconnected nature of risks and demonstrate the need for businesses to take them into account and plan accordingly.

This year’s global top ten threats to business continuity are:

1.     Cyber attack – static

2.     Data breach – static

3.     Unplanned IT and telecom outages – static

4.     Security incident – up 1

5.     Adverse weather – up 3

6.     Interruption to utility supply – static

7.     Act of terrorism – down 3

8.     Supply chain disruption – down 1

9.     Availability of key skills – static

10.  New laws or regulations – new entry

David Thorp, Executive Director at the Business Continuity Institute, commented: “Given the diversity of the threats out there, it is absolutely essential to adopt agile and dynamic responses.

“Planning to recover from a data breach is very different from planning for the aftermath of a terrorist attack, and, as this year’s report highlights, the risk spectrum can be very broad. Malicious internet actors, political shake-ups, and climate change are all amongst the main worries for societies around the world.

“As always, the key takeaway should be that with challenges come opportunities. Change does not have to mean less favourable environments, but the landscape may be different. As organizations venture into uncharted territory now is the time to identify and undertake the measures that will increase resilience within your organization by ensuring that effective business continuity planning is in place.”

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