When threats become reality.

Position:Editor's Note
 
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Cyberattacks and data breaches are once again the top two threats to business continuity in 2017, according to the latest Horizon Scan Report, published by the Business Continuity Institute in association with the British Standards Institute. Nearly 90 percent of the 726 responding organizations from 79 countries report they are concerned about the possibility of a cyberattack, while 81 percent of respondents say the same about a data breach. According to the report, the eight other top threats are: unplanned IT and telecom outages, security incidents, adverse weather, interruption to utility supply, acts of terrorism, supply chain disruption, availability of key skills, and new laws or regulations.

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Such threats can test an organization's resiliency. Risk Management magazine recently presented a list of 30 actual risk events that occurred last year. The "Year in Risk 2016" shows how broad the spectrum of threats is. For example:

* A massive denial of service attack blocks access to dozens of websites, including Reddit, Twitter, Amazon, and Netflix. The hacker's identity is still unknown.

* The U.S. federal government declares a state of emergency in Flint, Mich., after unsafe lead levels are found in the water supply. Five local and state government officials resign or are fired, and criminal charges are filed against nine others.

* Following foodborne illness outbreaks at Chipotle Mexican Grill that sickened hundreds of customers, sales are down and the restaurant's stock price has dropped nearly 50 percent since its August 2015 peak.

* Terrorist attacks kill more than 340 people in a shopping center bombing in Baghdad; 87 people in the Bastille Day massacre...

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