The latest business continuity news from around the world

The Business Continuity Institute has published its annual Horizon Scan Report, which shows that the top three threats to organizations are all related to technology.

The Horizon Scan Report, published in association with BSI (British Standards Institution), finds that 88 percent of respondents are either ‘extremely concerned’ or ‘concerned’ about the possibility of a cyber attack: the top perceived threat to organizations. The threat of a data breach is in second place, at 81 percent; and unplanned IT and telecom outages are the third highest perceived threat, at 80 percent.

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.

Adverse weather moved from being the eighth highest threat in 2016 to the fifth in 2017; whilst, somewhat surprisingly, the threat of terrorism dropped three places from being the fourth highest threat to being the seventh.

According to the 2017 Horizon Scan Report, the current global top ten threats to business continuity are:

  1. Cyber attack (the same as the 2016 report)
  2. Data breach (the same as the 2016 report)
  3. Unplanned IT and telecom outages (the same as the 2016 report)
  4. Security incident (up one from the 2016 report)
  5. Adverse weather (up three from the 2016 report)
  6. Interruption to utility supply (the same as the 2016 report)
  7. Act of terrorism (down three from the 2016 report)
  8. Supply chain disruption (down one from the 2016 report)
  9. Availability of key skills (the same as the 2016 report)
  10. New laws or regulations – new entry.

For the first time, the survey also asked which disruptions respondents had experienced during the previous year in order to understand what lies behind the worry. The results showed that nine of the top ten concerns also appeared in the top ten list of disruptions, with transport network disruption appearing at the expense of act of terrorism. Unplanned IT and telecom outages came in at number one, followed by interruption to utility supply and then cyber attack. Data breach came in at eighth place.

With the top four threats all showing an increasing in level of concern, it is worrying that 14 percent of respondents will experience business continuity budget cuts over the next year, making them less likely to be able to respond effectively to these threats.

Despite growing fears over the resilience of their organizations, the report records another fall in the use of long-term trend analysis to assess and understand threats, down 1 percent to 69 percent this year. Of those carrying out trend analysis, around a third of organizations (32 percent) do not use the results to inform their business continuity management programmes.

Globally there were some variations to the top three threats: In Belgium, act of terrorism was in third; in Central and Latin America, new laws or regulations featured in third place; and in Sub Saharan Africa, exchange rate volatility was third.

There was more variation when it came to actual disruptions with adverse weather appearing in second place throughout North America, Asia and Australasia; while the loss of key employee featured in the top three throughout the Middle East and North Africa, Central and Latin America and the United Kingdom.

The full report is available after registration here.

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