Cyber-Security Remains a Top Concern in the C-Suite

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 03-10-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Calls for Better Risk Management
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    Calls for Better Risk Management

    Pressure from boards, volatile markets, intense competition, demanding regulatory requirements, fear of catastrophic events and other dynamic forces are prompting more calls for management to design and implement risk management programs to reduce risks.
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    Budgeting Risk Management
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    Budgeting Risk Management

    Most respondents said they are more likely to invest more resources towards risk management this year compared to 2014 and 2013.
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    Nature of Top Risks Varies
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    Nature of Top Risks Varies

    Of the top 10 risks, six represent operational concerns. Three relate to strategic risks and only one relates to macroeconomic issues. The two previous surveys indicated greater concerns over strategic risks.
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    Risk 1: Regulatory Changes
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    Risk 1: Regulatory Changes

    67% of respondents said the impact of regulatory changes and increased regulatory scrutiny may affect products will be "significant." 11% and 22% acknowledged a "potential impact" and "less significant impact," respectively.
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    Risk 2: Economic Conditions
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    Risk 2: Economic Conditions

    56% of respondents said they expect a significant impact from economic conditions in their markets that may significantly restrict growth opportunities.
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    Risk 3: Operations Disrupted by Cyber-Threats
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    Risk 3: Operations Disrupted by Cyber-Threats

    53% of respondents admit that their organization may not be sufficiently prepared to manage cyber-threats that could disrupt core operations and/or damage their brand.
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    Risk 4: Attracting the Best Personnel
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    Risk 4: Attracting the Best Personnel

    Success and challenges and the ability to attract and retain talent is expected to have a significant impact by 56% of respondents.
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    Risk 5: Culture Hampers Risk Management
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    Risk 5: Culture Hampers Risk Management

    51% of respondents believe their organization's culture may not sufficiently encourage the timely identification and escalation of risk issues that could affect core operations and their company's ability to reach strategic objectives.
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    Risk 6: Resistance to Change
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    Risk 6: Resistance to Change

    49% of respondents said resistance to change could have a significant impact on their company's business model and operations.
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    Risk 7: Ensuring Privacy
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    Risk 7: Ensuring Privacy

    52% said ensuring privacy/identity management and information security/system protection may require significant resources, but 40% thought this risk would have a less significant impact.
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    Risk 8: Unexpected Crises
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    Risk 8: Unexpected Crises

    Of the statement, "our organization may not be sufficiently prepared to manage an unexpected crisis significantly impacting our reputation," 46% thought it could have a significant impact.
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    Risk 9: Customer Loyalty
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    Risk 9: Customer Loyalty

    For the statement, "Sustaining customer loyalty and retention may be increasingly difficult due to evolving customer preference," 48% said it could have a significant impact.
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    Risk 10: Performance of Operations
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    Risk 10: Performance of Operations

    Asked whether existing operations may not meet performance expectations for quality, time-to-market, cost and innovation as well as those of customers, respondents' answers were as follows: significant impact: 46%, potential impact: 13%, less significant impact: 41%.
 

Board members and C-suite executives rank cyber-security No. 3 among the 10 top risks facing organizations today, according to a new survey. Although encouraged by signs of an improving business climate in most industries, as evidenced by strong equity markets and lower unemployment rates, for example, they recognize that they operate in a risky world because of recent data breaches affecting retailers and financial institutions. Numerous government lapses also "vividly illustrate" risks that can suddenly threaten reputations and brands, according to the survey. Furthermore, "Boards of directors and executive management teams cannot afford to manage risk casually on a reactive basis, especially in light of the rapid pace of disruptive innovation and technological developments," the report states. The report, "Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2015," is the third annual joint effort between consulting firm Protiviti and North Carolina State University. The survey summarizes the views of 277 board members, C-suite and other top-level executives regarding the risks likely to affect organizations over the next year.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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