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A new report published by the Business Continuity Institute (BCI), in association with the British Standards Instituion (BSI), has revealed that IT-related threats are the number one concern for business leaders around the world today.

The report studied 690 respondents from 82 countries.

The annual BCI Horizon Scan revealed 77% of business leaders fear the possibility of an unplanned IT and telecoms outage and 73% worry about the possibility of a cyber-attack or data breach.

It also identified long-term trends, 73% of organizations see the use of the Internet for malicious attacks as a major threat that needs to be closely monitored, with 63% feeling the same about the influence of social media.

The results show the top ten threats to business continuity are:
1) Unplanned IT and telecom outages
2) Cyber attack
3) Data breach
4) Adverse weather
5) Interruption to utility supply
6) Fire
7) Security incident
8) Health & safety incident
9) Act of terrorism
10) New laws or regulations

Other findings show adverse weather moved up the list of threats, 57% of respondents said they were concerned.

This was before the UK and eastern seaboard storms.

BSI’s CEO Howard Kerr changing social, political, climatic and economic situations are forcing businesses to adapt to the threats.

“By putting in place a framework based on risk standards, you will be able to identify, prioritise and manage the range of threats to your business more effectively and keep your stakeholders reassured,” Kerr said.