Cyber Attacks, Disasters and Diseases… Oh My!

The workplace threat employers most fear is a cyber attack, according to a survey from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.

The 2015 Workplace Threats survey found 37% of organizations said a cyber attack was their number one concern.

The fear of cyber attacks at the workplace has increased by nearly 75% compared to five years ago. Eighteen percent of organizations have been through an actual cyber attack and 18% have experienced a data breach issue.

Other workplace threats ranked as follows:

  • Internal data security breach: 25%;
  • Workplace violence: 19%;
  • Natural disaster: 12%;
  • Disease outbreak: 2%; and
  • Terror or bomb threat/attack: 2%.


Many organizations have planned ahead and are financially prepared should a threat occur. Sixty-four percent of organizations are spending more financial resources on crisis prevention than they did five years ago.

Workplaces are preparing for threats by:

  • Restricted access to electronic files: 63%;
  • A plan to communicate with and account for all workers: 62%;
  • HR/benefits records back up: 57%;
  • Evacuation plan: 56%;
  • Free flu shots or other immunizations: 53%; and
  • Mobile device at work policy: 44%.


The Workplace Threats survey also looked at employee communication, work privacy, the disease causing the most concern, post-incident resources, and concern over threats during the past five years. Full survey results may be viewed at