The biggest threats to business continuity

The biggest threats to business continuity

Many internal and external factors can lead to the disruption of business operations. Let’s take a look at the top threats on the minds of business leaders in 2019.

Cyberattacks and data breaches

(Cost to companies in 2018: $144 million)
According to the 2019 BCI Horizon Scan Report, a document accomplished by the Business Continuity Institute in partnership with the British Standards Institution detailing the results of their global survey regarding business continuity trends, cyberattacks cost businesses $144 million in 2018.

While this threat category ranked fourth last year, it rose to first place this year due to how even Google and Facebook fell victim to cyberattacks in 2018.

IT and telecom outage

(Cost to companies in 2018: $307 million)
Downtime caused by internet connection issues is a major concern for businesses because it cuts off revenues from online sales, makes remote workers unproductive, and halts cloud-based business processes. Multiple internet service providers (ISPs) are seen as the key to preventing having a single point of failure connection-wise.

The same reasoning applies to having more than one cloud service provider (CSP), since a CSP might suffer IT outages of its own or go out of business.

Adverse weather and natural disasters

(Cost to companies in 2018: $500 million)
Though not as common as other disruptors, adverse weather events rank high among survey respondents due to increased awareness and acceptance of climate change. Both the frequency and severity of storms are on the rise in many parts of the world, making business continuity and disaster recovery strategies as important as stepping up efforts to save the environment.

Critical infrastructure failure

Machine failure due to wear and tear can bring production to a standstill. Thankfully, new technologies exist to support preventive maintenance, such as IoT sensors that monitor components and alert managers if and when parts have to be replaced.

Reputation incidents

(Cost to companies in 2018: $1.036 billion)
Data breaches can result in the loss of consumer trust and confidence in you as a corporate partner. Loss of consumer trust can lead to customer departure, whereas votes of no confidence can mean becoming blacklisted from participating in project bids.

To prevent these from happening, data breaches must be acknowledged, and transparency regarding security breaches must be promptly provided to affected stakeholders so they can take the necessary actions to protect their accounts. Naturally, this will take time and effort, but it’s better to suffer short-term disruption rather than lose the business entirely in the long run.

Regulatory changes

Businesses can find it overwhelming to abide by several state, federal, and regional regulations. Whenever a new policy is introduced or an existing one is amended, it takes time to understand and adjust business processes for the sake of compliance. Furthermore, transgressions can lead to punitive fines or even the suspension of operating licenses, both of which would reduce your bottom line.

Lack of talent or key skills

(Cost to companies in 2018: $254 million)
Recent management wisdom has it that ivory towers of knowledge must be replaced with teams whose members share expertise with one another. This prevents talent departure from crippling companies. Additionally, internships, internal development programs, and outsourcing are all excellent methods for obtaining key skills that companies require.

Supply chain disruption

(Cost to companies in 2018: $181 million)
Whenever there is a break in the supply chain, production is halted, resulting in delays, missed deadlines, and broken contracts. Businesses mitigate the risks by broadening their supplier networks and setting rerouting schemes in case primary routes become compromised.

Interruption to utility supply

(Cost to companies in 2018: $244 million)
Electric utility outages make businesses lose precious productivity hours, so those who can afford to implement backup power systems such as batteries, fuel-burning generators, and uninterruptible power systems do so.

Political change

With the 2020 US presidential election looming and still so much uncertainty surrounding Europe regarding Brexit, managers have grown more anxious about how political change (or lack thereof) may hamper their businesses. If President Trump is reelected for another four-year term, his penchant for imposing trade tariffs on China and Mexico might continue to increase costs of goods and lower local and international demand for American-made products.

On the other side of the Atlantic, businesses with bases of operations in the UK may move such over to other countries in the EU. If they do so, their productivity will take short-term hits for the sake of retaining the benefits that being in the European Union provides.

To mitigate the threats to business continuity, turn to Arnet Technologies. Contact us to learn more about how our services can help you avoid the crippling effects of business disruptions today.


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