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Blog : BOARD TALK

Cyber Attack Seen As Top Threat To Business

Posted on February 18, 2015 at 1:15 PM

Cyber attack is the top threat perceived by businesses worldwide, while supply chain disruption is rising fastest in the nightmares of those responsible for business continuity. 


The fourth annual Horizon Scan report published today by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI)  assessed 760 organisations across the world. It found that 82% of Business Continuity Managers are afraid of the possibility of a cyber attack, with 81% worried about the possibility of unplanned IT outages and 75% of data breaches similar to that suffered by Sony in 2014. 


Concerns over supply chain disruption were the fastest rising threat, climbing to fifth place in this year's report, up from 16th in 2014. Almost half of those polled (49%) identified increasing supply chain complexity as a trend that left their organisation vulnerable.



"It is of real concern that this year's report shows that businesses are not fully utilising information to identify and remedy blind spots in their organisational resilience strategies....Failing to apply best practice leaves organizations and their employees, business partners and customers at risk" says Howard Kerr, BSI's CEO.


The use of 'trend analysis' appears to be minimal, and varies enormously by geographic region.It is popular in the Netherlands, for example (82%), and far less so in the Middle East and Africa (63%).


The report strongly recommends that top management give greater attention to the rising costs of business continuity - it cites the 2014 Ponemon 'Cost of Cybercrime' report placing the annualised cost of cyber-crime per global company at $7.6 million, a 10.4% year on year increase. 


Er - that means the boardroom. For this supply chain complexity has not sprung up overnight. The fact that it keeps coming up in major businesses as something of a surprise weakness does not say much for the way many large, complex businesses are being run. 


'Business continuity' should be at the very heart of corporate governance - not something that is the responsiblity of a manager with that title alone. Not much seems to have been learnt from treating IT as a siloed function in the past.





Categories: Scrutiny, Training, Technology