Cyber risk scoots up the ranks in risk management survey

New economic and global trade realities are challenging organisations’ ability to invest adequately in preparing for and protecting the continuity of their operations, according to findings from Aon’s 2019 Global Risk Management Survey.

“Companies of all sizes are struggling to prioritise their risk management efforts amid so much change and uncertainty,” said Rory Moloney, chief executive officer, Global Risk Consulting. “What was once a tried-and-true strategy for risk mitigation – using the past to predict the future – is now a challenge, and coupled with a more competitive global economy, it is causing an all-time low level of risk readiness. As a result, risk management plans need to take a different approach than they have in the past.”

The survey, which represents the views of thousands of risk managers across 60 countries and 33 industries and is conducted every two years, identified economic slowdown as the No. 1 risk faced by respondents. Damage to reputation/brand was cited as the No. 2 concern, reflecting the potential for significant consequences when corporate mishaps occur amidst a 24/7 news cycle on social medial platforms.  Accelerated rates of change in market factors stemming from an increase in protectionist international trade policies, which include rising regulatory activity and geopolitical tension, jumped from 38 in the previous survey to round out the top three concerns on the 2019 list.

Cyber-attacks and data breaches meantime have jumped up the ladder to rank as the No. 6 risk and are expected to become the third-highest overall risk in 2022, according to the survey. Cyber continues to hold the No. 1 spot among those responding from North America. For the first time, cyber risk is predicted to be in the top-10 list for Latin America. It is also predicted to rise in Europe from a ranking of eight to four, and in the Middle East and Africa from eight to two.

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