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Cyber attacks top list of business continuity threats for 2015

With the increasing frequency of cyber attacks on major corporations, this threat to business continuity ranked No. 1 on the Business Continuity Institute's annual Horizon Scan report, surpassing unplanned IT and telecom outages by one percent.
With the increasing frequency of cyber attacks on major corporations, this threat to business continuity ranked No. 1 on the Business Continuity Institute's annual Horizon Scan report, surpassing unplanned IT and telecom outages by one percent.

With the increasing frequency of cyber attacks on major corporations, this threat to business continuity ranked No. 1 on the Business Continuity Institute's annual Horizon Scan report just three years after being introduced to the list, surpassing unplanned IT and telecom outages by one percent.

According to the report, 82 percent of companies ranked cyber attacks as a top concern for 2015, up 1 percent from last year, while 81 percent said unplanned outages were a top risk, down 1 percent from 2014's report. Other top threats included: Data breaches (75 percent), interruption of utility supply and supply chain disruption. The biggest change on the list was supply chain disruption which climbed from No. 16 on last year's list to No. 5 this year.

"Globalization has brought the world's conflicts, epidemics, natural disasters and crime closer to home," Howard Kerr, chief executive at BSI, said in a release. "It is of real concern that this year's report shows that businesses are not fully utilizing information to identify and remedy blind spots in their organizational resilience strategies. Tracking near and long-term threats provides organizations of all sizes with an objective assessment of risks and how to mitigate them. Failing to apply best practice leaves organizations and their employees, business partners and customers at risk."

Tackling these issues as part of business continuity planning doesn't just require high-quality security or IT solutions, but a well-rounded continuity of operations plan that is developed by experts who can take every consideration of your company and day-to-day operations into account. Mitigating risk and ensuring recovery after an incident has expanded beyond the scope of being just and IT or just an HR problem, and companies need to consolidate efforts across every department to ensure stability. Evolving threat landscapes show just how important this is, as new risks emerge and overtake others in annual flux.