Businesses need to be careful not to focus on only one area in business continuity planning.

Business continuity a top priority for companies, but fewer companies prepared for risk

A recent Ovum poll found that 87 percent of companies believe business continuity and disaster recovery are their top priority when it comes to risk management and security. However, 17 percent were unsure if they could pass a compliance test, while 23 percent failed a security audit within the last three years.

According to the report, 85 were focused on cyberthreats, while 84 cited internal threats as a major worry. Another 83 percent of companies were concerned with their compliance management capabilities.

"Ovum's findings shine a light on the challenges most organizations have in meeting today's increasing data security and compliance requirements, as well as the risks of failing to instill effective data flow governance," said Dean Hidalgo, executive vice president of Axway, a B2B business solutions provider.

Companies need to optimize their business continuity planning to minimize risk from both internal threats and cyber security breaches, but it is important to balance this planning with the many other risks to continuity of operations. Natural disasters, power outages and other threats are equally important when it comes to maintaining security compliance and eliminating risk from workflow. Businesses should ensure they are preparing hot sites, backup strategies for employee transportation and remote working plans in addition to their investments into data backup and recovery, security and communications systems.

When it comes to disaster preparedness, firms need to take a 360-degree look at their operations, not just the technology but also the people. Many of the major dangers of a crisis come from employee- and customer-related risks, not the loss of technology. Preparing with proper business continuity consulting can ensure all of these factors are properly considered.