30 September 2014
IT educator and consultant Sysop is launching a bi-monthly, “highly interactive ”Major Incident Workshop for IT managers and their business colleagues, designed to tackle a growing problem whose economic impact has doubled over the last year and now costs British business “billions of pounds per annum” in IT breaches alone, according to recent Government research*. 38% of large organisations and 16% of small businesses were hit by denial of service attacks over the last year. Major incidents of this kind disrupted business operations for as much as 8 days in the case of larger companies, and 10 days for smaller companies.
Commenting on the cost of IT major incidents, Sysop managing director and consulting lead Stuart Sawle says: “In the financial services sector alone, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) had to put aside £125m to pay compensation to customers affected by the June 2012 breakdown in its computer systems. Account holders at RBS and its NatWest and Ulster Bank subsidiaries faced weeks of costly disruption after a software upgrade at the bank. And the Nationwide Building Society was fined £980,000 by the FSA over security breaches.
“It is vital that management works together to tackle this very costly and complex problem. Our initiative will help to make that happen,” Stuart Sawle adds.
A skills shortage, failure to assign responsibilities and lack of leadership are common problems according to Sysop, whose best practice workshops will help organisations to define and detect a major incident, take ownership and work towards a speedy resolution using the correct procedures and processes. The Major Incident Workshop launch follows a successful Sysop pilot that was attended by a number of IT and other management delegates from larger blue chip as well as smaller organisations.
The causes of IT-related incidents are many and various, say Sysop. Around a quarter of reported major hacking attempts originate in Europe, and six in ten in North America. Analyst Gartner projects that 80% of outages impacting mission-critical services in 2015 will be caused by people and process issues.31% of executives in small and medium companies name cyber-attack, 35% data loss and 36% local network systems failure as their three biggest technology risks, while threat to their business’ social media reputation is cited by 15%.
*Department for Business Innovation and Skills, 2014ⱡThe Zurich SME Risk Index