Trucks at Work

Worry grows over the impact of data disasters

There’s a saying that’s been bandied about the logistics world for some time now: information about freight shipments is almost more valuable than the freight itself.

That’s in part due to the just-in-time delivery nature for most goods these days, as well as due to growth in e-commerce; a sector where fast shipping is almost taken for granted.

As a result, information technology (IT) systems are playing an ever larger and ever more vital role in the freight world – indeed, for the entire business community. And for that very reason, if something goes wrong – a data breach or an IT systems crash – then big trouble results.

[As much big trouble as experienced in little China? Well … maybe not THAT much.]

Thus, at least according to the latest International Business Resiliency Survey conducted by risk management firm Marsh and the Disaster Recovery Institute International (DRII), many businesses now consider cyber and IT-related risks to be the most likely form of “disaster” to occur and to have the greatest potential impact on their operations.

Based on a poll of nearly 200 C-suite executives and managers from large and medium-sized global corporations, there are three “big risks” when it comes to IT:

  • Reputational damage from a sensitive data breach (impact 79%; likelihood of such a breach 79%)
  • The failure in a main IT data center (59% and 77%)
  • Online services going offline due to a cyberattack (58% and 77%)

Three out of four respondents to Marsh and DRII’s poll also considered the failure of IT systems as one of two areas that could have the greatest impact on their organization’s reputation, along with the lack of crisis management planning.

Both CEOs and risk managers in the survey further identified IT system failure prevention (29%) as the most important area to invest in, with CEOs also highlighting intellectual property protection (25%).

In terms of preparedness, the majority of organizations polled also think they are better positioned to deal with traditional than non-traditional risks.

For example, respondents rated their company’s resilience as high for natural catastrophes and IT system failures (40% and 44% respectively) and low for political violence and an activist group attack on social media (both 32%).

Just goes to show that data continues to play a more and more critical role in the business world as a whole. Thus it cannot be an afterthought anymore in day-to-day freight dealings, either.

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