A freak week has seen interest soar in business continuity, according to organisers of an upcoming event on the area.

Business Continuity Expo has compiled a number of “staggering statistics and frightening facts” to urge UK companies to not to neglect this essential responsibility in a week that has seen the largest outbreak of bird flu in the UK, blizzard conditions close offices and schools and letter bombs put the security services and postal system on high alert.

“The UK has more tornadoes per unit land area than the USA.”
(Source: TORRO, who look at extreme weather events)

Computer related disasters cost British businesses a staggering £1.8 billion.
(Source: Office Shadow)

A massive 78% of businesses have suffered an online attack with the average cost standing at an average of £30,000. (Source: DTI)

According to the government’s own chief medical officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, it is a matter of when, not if, a flu pandemic develops over the next few years. And, when such a pandemic occurs, within a matter of weeks the world will have fallen into a sustained period of business disruption, with illness and death on a scale that will overwhelm health resources worldwide. England and Wales alone could face more than 600,000 deaths, causing the economy to come to a standstill. (Source: Graham Chick/Survive)

McKinsey says if you can manage risk successfully, there’s a clear return on investment. It says that over 80% of investors would pay 18% more for shares in a well-governed company.

“…There are 2 elements of communications system failure during a crisis: loss of infrastructure and overload… following the 9/11 attacks 200,000 voice lines and four million data circuits failed…and by 11am that day 90% of all mobile calls were blocked due to infrastructure failure or overload…” (Source: Applied Satellite Technology)

One if five businesses can expect to be affected by a major disruption in the next five years. Of those, 60 percent will be out of business within 2 years. (Source: London Prepared)

More than 30,000 PCs per day are being recruited into secret networks that spread spam and viruses. (Source: London Prepared)

Around 5 million people, in 2 million properties live in flood risk areas in England and Wales. (Source:)

A recent survey conducted by Business Continuity Expo 2007 found that people believe that the biggest threats for UK in 2007 are: 54% rate terrorism; 30% voted for natural disasters; and 16% rate avian flu as the biggest threat. (Source: Business Continuity Expo)

On average, 70% of re-sold hard-drives and memory cards contain pornographic material according to research carried out on 1,000 hard-drives over the course of a year by Disklabs Data Recovery and Computer Forensics.

Only 37% of sole traders surveyed had a procedure to deal with a disaster, even though over half recognised it could put them out of business. And 47% of 505 owner managers without a business continuity plan said that they hadn’t thought about implementing one, 29% said it was unlikely such an event would affect them anyway and 11% said they had no time to think about it. (Source: Network Disaster Recovery)

Some 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to close within two years of the disaster, while 80% of businesses without a well-structured recovery plan are forced to close within 12 months of a flood or fire. And 43% of companies experiencing disasters never recover. 50% of companies experiencing a computer outage will be forced to shut within five years. (Source: British Computer Society)

Business Continuity Expo 2007 takes place at London’s Excel from 28-29 March 2007.