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New survey reveals 65% of firms fear cyber attack in 2013

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A new survey published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) in association with BSI reveals that a high percentage of business organisations are concerned about a cyber attack in 2013.

According to the Horizon Scan 2013 Survey Report, 65% of organisations are extremely concerned or concerned about a cyber attack in 2013 while 71% see the use of the Internet for malicious attacks as a major trend that requires a business continuity response with 42% seeking to manage the prevalence and high adoption of Internet-dependent services such as the cloud, within their preparedness activities.

The survey questioned 730 organisations from sectors as diverse as financial services, public administration and defence, retail and manufacturing in 62 countries including USA, UK, India, China, South Africa, Egypt and Brazil.

The survey report concludes that the level of concern across sectors and geography over a cyber attack is a major challenge for public policy makers and board rooms with more needed to be done to gain a better understanding of the threat and underlying trends that drive the vulnerability to ensure a proportionate business continuity approach is in place.

Key findings from the Horizon Scan 2013 Survey Report:

  • Leading threat of concern in 2013 is unplanned IT and telecom outages with 70% of organisations surveyed stating they were extremely concerned or concerned about this threat in 2013. This was followed in second place by concern over a data breach at 66%.
  • Supply chain disruption and the underlying trend of increasing supply chain complexity figure prominently in the overall results and are lead concerns in manufacturing and retail sectors.
  • 60% of respondents see the influence of social media as a major trend affecting reputation management and crisis communications, the second highest rated trend in the survey.
  • Investment in business continuity is robust, in spite of difficult economic times, with 22% seeing increased investment in 2013 and 54% stating that investment will be maintained at appropriate levels. 14% expected investment to be cut, thereby limiting the scope or effectiveness of the programme.
Lyndon Bird FBCI, Technical Director at the BCI, comments that the study brings together short-term threats with the underlying trends that drive disruption, providing business managers with both an immediate term focus and insight into the longer term needs for capability development. He adds that the high level of concern over a cyber attack demands a considered independent analysis of the threat to avoid hype and disillusionment and ensure a proportionate response is in place.

According to Nick Koukoulas, Managing Director at BSI Group Australia and New Zealand (BSI), incidences of cybercrime are on the increase, requiring businesses to be prepared for any type of risk. Given the increased reliance on technology, cyber security is now more important than ever and businesses must ensure that they have a broad and robust resilience strategy.

He adds that businesses can benefit from an integrated implementation of standards in areas such as business continuity management (ISO/IEC 22301) and information security (ISO/IEC 27001) to identify, prioritise and manage these threats.

BSI continues to work with security experts, government bodies and trade associations to develop standards that specifically address risks such as cloud security.

The Business Continuity Awareness Week runs from 18th to 22nd March 2013.

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