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February 17, 2015updated 19 Aug 2016 3:59pm

Cyber-attacks become top business continuity threat

Hackers are worrying continuity managers more than other dangers.

By Jimmy Nicholls

Cyber-attacks are now regarded as the top threat to business continuity, according to a study by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI).

An annual survey by the firm showed that four-fifths of business continuity managers were afraid that they would be victim of a cyber-attack, just above concerns around unplanned IT outages and data breaches.

Lyndon Bird FBCI, technical director at the BCI, said: "The world faces diverse problems from cybercrime and political unrest to supply chain vulnerabilities and health hazards. This report shows the vital importance of business continuity professionals understanding such trends.

"No longer can those working in the field believe they can resolve all their problems themselves. As an industry we must work together with our fellow practitioners to deal with the complexity of these threats."

The report, titled Horizon Scan, also showed a decline in the use of trend analysis for those responsible for business continuity, with a fifth of firms not investing in protective discipline whilst a similar amount were not using trend analytics at all.

Analysis of small businesses also showed only half were adhering to standards for business continuity, though the lack of historical data meant it was unknown what direction the trend was moving in.

"Globalisation has brought the world’s conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and crime closer to home," said Howard Kerr, chief executive of the British Standards Institution, which also worked on the report.

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"Failing to apply best practice leaves organizations and their employees, business partners and customers at risk."

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