Cyberattacks, Data Breaches, Terrorism Top List of Business Concerns for 2016

cybersecurity James Steidl/Adobe Stock

Cyberattacks and data breaches are the top business threats for 2016, according the latest Horizon Scan Report from the Business Continuity Institute and BSI. The 568 organizations surveyed for the report ranked a cyberattack as No. 1 and a data breach as No 2 on the top 10 threats facing businesses today. A possible act of terrorism, a supply chain disruption and a lack of available talent were also on the list.

Cyberattacks remained the top concern for the second year in a row in the BCI report. A total of 48% of respondents said they were “extremely concerned” this year about the possible threat of a cyberattack impacting their company, such as a malware or denial of service incident. Second on the list of top threats this year was a data breach, with 41% of respondents saying they were “extremely concerned.” Unplanned IT and telecom outages came in third, with 35% saying they were extremely concerned about the threat.

Other Top Threats

The threat of an act of terrorism jumped to fourth place on the list this year, with 19% of organizations saying they were extremely concerned about the threat to their business. Last year, terrorism ranked No. 10.

Here is the complete list of the top 10 threats identified in the report:

  1. Cyberattack
  2. Data breach
  3. Unplanned IT and telecom outages
  4. Act of terrorism
  5. Security incident
  6. Interruption to utility supply
  7. Supply chain disruption
  8. Adverse weather
  9. Availability of talents/key skills
  10. Health and safety incident

Supply Chain Disruptions Widespread, Costly

Supply chain disruption remained on the list for the second year, the BCI report said. Rightfully so, the report said, as research shows 9% of organizations have lost more than $1 million in a single supply chain disruption incident. Seventy-eight percent of organizations in the report said they were concerned about a supply chain disruption this year. Of those, 16% said they were “extremely concerned,” about such an incident.

Another report from GT Nexus, a provider of cloud-based supply chain technology solutions, showed 40% of manufacturing organizations had a supply chain disruption in the last year. About a quarter of the manufacturers experienced an external supply chain disruption, such as weather-related incident or a labor strike. Another 19% said the disruptions were caused by internal factors such as a technology problem or a talent gap.

Cybersecurity in Focus

It may not be surprising cyberattacks are a main business concern again this year. These issues can lead to supply chain disruptions and negatively impact a company’s reputation, the BCI report stated.

President Obama recently addressed the growing problem of cybersecurity, asking Congress to devote $19 billion for cybersecurity in his 2017 fiscal budget proposal. It’s a roughly 30% increase compared with the $14 billion set aside in this year’s budget for cybersecurity measures.

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