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Counting the cost of ineffective business continuity

Press Release   •   Mar 18, 2014 10:06 GMT

Caversham, UK – 18 March 2014: The Business Continuity Institute has published a report to highlight the cost of common threats to organizations, threats such as IT and telecommunications outage, data breach, cyber attacks and adverse weather conditions. 'Counting the cost - a meta analysis of the cost of ineffective business continuity' demonstrates why it is important for organizations to have a business continuity plan that can help prevent a drama from becoming a crisis.

The report shows that having in place an effective business continuity management programme can spell the difference between organizational resilience and financial ruin. A single incident can cost an organization millions and can rapidly demolish its reputation.

Some of the key findings of the report include:

  • According to a recent IBM study on professionals dependent on high-availability IT, the cost of an IT/telecommunications outage can vary from US$1.04 million to US$14.25 million over 24 months. Minor incidents, on average, cost US$53,210 per minute of downtime. Further losses due to reputation-related costs can add up to US$5.27 million for substantial incidents.
  • Analysis by the Ponemon Institute reveals that the average cost of data breach and cyber attacks stands at an average of US$11.6 million annually. Organizations report costs ranging from US$1.3 million to US$58 million to resolve these incidents. Case studies reveal staggering losses of up to US$4 billion due to severe incidents of data breach and cyber attack.
  • A Munich Re report shows that combined household and corporate insurance payouts for weather-related damage in the United States alone cost US$12.8 billion in 2013. Extreme weather phenomena have increased the severity of damage and value of insurance claims.

Patrick Alcantara, Research Associate at the BCI and author of the report, commented: "The aim of the report is drive home the message that business continuity is not the sole domain of an organization’s BC professional. Ensuring an effective, robust BC programme is also the responsibility of management, budget holders and the rest of staff. In a time where cutting budgets is the norm, it is important to be reminded of the cost of being caught flat-footed in an incident. The false economy created by cutting down on business continuity may create bigger problems that may impact on organizational resilience and viability."

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For further information, contact the author of the report - Patrick Alcantara - by phoning +44 (0)118 3723079 or email


  • The report is published to coincide with Business Continuity Awareness Week (17th - 21st March)
  • A copy of the report can be obtained by visiting the BCI website.
  • It is important to note that as the figures are rough estimates of the actual cost of disruption, organizations are highly encouraged to think about their specific context in order to arrive at more appropriate data.
  • The ultimate aim is to start a conversation among organizations and budget holders using readily understood and comparable data in order to maintain BC investment.

Based in Caversham, United Kingdom, the Business Continuity Institute (BCI) was established in 1994 to promote the art and science of business continuity worldwide and to assist organizations in preparing for and surviving minor and large-scale man-made and natural disasters.  The Institute enables members to obtain guidance and support from their fellow practitioners and offers professional training and certification programmes to disseminate and validate the highest standards of competence and ethics.  It has circa 8,000 members in more than 100 countries, who are active in an estimated 3,000 organizations in private, public and third sectors.

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