2018 Predictions: The Top 3 Business Continuity Risks


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There’s no denying that 2017 has been a whirlwind of a year from a business continuity perspective—and we still have months to go. Just think about everything that has happened so far: In May and June, massive ransomware attacks spread across the globe, impacting hundreds of thousands of computer users. As you and your team begin to look ahead to the fall, it’s important to always keep business continuity top of mind. In 2018 and beyond, many of the risks faced by organizations like yours—particularly those involving cybersecurity—are only expected to intensify.

Don’t put yourself in a position where you have to play catch-up: Now is the time to take stock of the threats to your business, as well as your level of business continuity preparedness, and to continually plan for the future.

2018 Predictions

The next 12 months or so will likely be a dynamic time in the world of business continuity. Organizations are grappling with a growing number and variety of threats. Are you prepared for whatever may come?

To help you assess your preparedness, we’re counting down the top three business continuity risks for 2018:

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1. Ransomware

This type of malicious software is rapidly growing in popularity, with an incredible 50 percent increase in attacks in 2016. In a ransomware attack, the hacker gains access to a network or system and then threatens to publish the information or block access to it until a ransom is paid. As we saw with the WannaCry attack in May, ransomware can be extremely dangerous to both individuals and businesses. Hundreds of thousands of users suddenly lost access to their data. In the case of businesses, this is a devastating prospect, as a single ransomware attack could lead to the loss of intellectual property, customer information, and more. As these schemes only grow in popularity and level of sophistication, it’s important to incorporate them into your business continuity planning efforts, before it’s too late.

2. Data breach

Good old-fashioned data breaches are also becoming larger and more expensive every year. Just last year, Yahoo! ‘fessed up to an astonishing 1.5 billion user accounts being compromised in two separate incidents. Not only will these breaches be extremely costly, but the company’s reputation is arguably irreparably damaged. And now that hackers around the globe have witnessed such a high-profile, extensive breach, they will be looking to top it in the years to come.

3. Social engineering attacks

Hacking attempts that appeal to the victim’s empathy or trust are becoming increasingly common. Social engineering attacks usually come in the form of phishing, but hackers are constantly growing more sophisticated. Today, the most dangerous social engineering threats also include:

  • Pretexting: The scammer creates a believable pretext, or false scenario, that prompts the victim to provide key pieces of information that can be used to steal his or her identity.
  • Baiting: This attack works much like a phishing scheme, but the scammer “baits” the victim by promising him or her something, such as free movie tickets, in return for taking certain actions.
  • Quid pro quo: This scheme is similar to baiting, where the scammer promises a benefit in exchange for information. The most popular version of this attack involves thieves who call employees at a company and impersonate IT service people.

Modern Risks Require Modern Thinking

In our digital age, many of the most serious threats to an organization revolve around internet technology—hacking, data breach, and social engineering attacks—and that’s likely to be the case in 2018 and beyond.

It’s vital to ensure that your organization is resilient enough to weather these types of fast-moving, highly damaging threats. By operationalizing your business continuity management (BCM) capabilities, you can ensure that your people have all the information they need to help the company through any challenge.

Organizations like Philips Lifeline are doing away with traditional, hard-copy business continuity plans and adopting mobile technology to streamline and strengthen their BCM efforts. Find out how this approach could help your business improve its organizational resilience.

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