Firms seek help in case of emergency

Terrorism fears spark continuity concerns

Terrorism fears spark continuity concerns

Terrorist attacks have prompted a sudden rise in the number of business continuity inquiries.

An independent disaster recovery agency, the Continuity Forum, has seen a 75 per cent rise in inquiries from companies seeking advice on how to keep trading in the event of an emergency.

Russell Price, chairman of the Continuity Forum, said: "We've seen a big increase, and that's just in August. The events of 7/7 have focused a whole community on disaster recovery. They show the majority of plans in place are inadequate - you need to plan for business, not just IT."

Of the 500 inquiries received, more than 30 per cent were from London and 14 per cent from Paris.

James Hart, the City of London Police Commissioner, said last week it was inevitable that the financial district would be attacked.

Research from the London Resilience Forum found that 80 per cent of businesses have been affected by a major incident within 18 months, and 90 per cent of firms that lose data from a disaster are forced to close within two years.

Price added that some effects of an attack hit companies in unobvious ways: "Problems can come further down the supply chain. We've been screaming at people for years to get their business continuity plans in place. But it has been shown that it requires first hand experience of an attack to force companies to act."