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Technology / Cyber attacks remain the biggest threat to business continuity

Cyber attacks remain the biggest threat to business continuity

Cyber security – including events like cyber attacks, data breaches and security incidents – continues to dominate the top ten global threats to business continuity, according to a report.

Research by the Business Continuity Institute and the British Standards Institution found that cyber attack is once again the top threat perceived by businesses.

88 per cent of organisations are either “extremely concerned” or “concerned” about the possibility of a cyber attack, placing it in the top spot when it comes to threats to business continuity.

In second place was the threat of a data breach, as cited by 81 per cent of respondents, and unplanned IT and telecom outages took the third spot with 80 per cent.

Security incidents rose to fourth place in the ranking, while new laws and regulations entered the top ten for the first time – perhaps a signal of businesses’ concern over new rules like the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, which threatens breached firms with huge fines.

“2016 continued to see high-profile businesses affected by cyber attack and disruption, so it’s not surprising to see it remains as the top threat to business,” said Howard Kerr, chief executive at the British Standards Institution.

“However, we remain concerned to see that businesses are still not fully utilising the information available to them to identify and remedy weaknesses in their organisational resilience. Ultimately, organisations must recognise that while there is risk, and plenty of it, there is also opportunity. Taking advantage of this means that leaders can steer their businesses to not just survive, but thrive.”

Cyber attack was also the third biggest potential disruption to businesses in the report, with data breaches sitting in eighth place in the ranking.

Although organisations expressed concern over a variety of threats that could disrupt their operations, the report showed that 14 per cent of respondents will experience business continuity budget cuts over the next year.