For the second year running, cyber-attacks are the top threat perceived by businesses. Data breaches took second place on the list, up one place from 2015.

The fifth annual Business Continuity Institute (BCI) Horizon Scan, in association with BSI, surveyed 568 organisations around the world and showed that 85 percent of business continuity managers fear possible cyber-attacks and 80 percent worry of a possible data breach similar to that of Carphone Warehouse and Sony.

Howard Kerr, chief executive at BSI commented, “Ultimately, organisations must recognise that, while there is risk, and plenty of it, there is also opportunity. Taking advantage of this means that leaders can steer their businesses to succeed by not just surviving, but thriving.”

Ponemon's 2015 Cost of Cyber-crime report showed that the annual cost of cyber-crime for each UK company stands at £4.1 million, a 14 percent jump since last year.

This year's global top ten threats to business continuity are:

  1. Cyber-attack – static
  2. Data breach – up 1
  3. Unplanned IT & telecom outages – down 1
  4. Act of terrorism – up 5
  5. Security Incident – up 1
  6. Interruption to utility supply – down 2
  7. Supply chain disruption – down 2
  8. Adverse weather – down 1
  9. Availability of key skills – new entry
  10. Health and Safety incident – new entry

“The industry landscape is rapidly changing, and so should our discipline in order to keep up with both traditional and modern challenges. Given the rise of new challenges and the fact that old ones remain, horizon scanning techniques are even more valuable in assisting organisations to be prepared to the best of their potential,” said David James-Brown FBCI, chairman of the BCI.