Cybersecurity just makes Top 5 for Australian firms

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Monday, 13 May, 2019

Cybersecurity just makes Top 5 for Australian firms

Cybersecurity is considered to be only the fifth-largest challenge facing Australian businesses today, according to professional services company Aon.

Yet the company’s 2019 Global Risk Management Survey found that Australian respondents ranked security as a higher priority than their global peers, which ranked cyber attacks and data breaches as the sixth top risk facing businesses.

Other factors that cybersecurity can have an impact on ranked even higher on the list. Business interruption ranked third, and the top risk Australian business leaders consider themselves to be facing involves damage to their company’s reputation or brand.

“Whether it is the threat of cyber attacks or a major project failure, the prevalence of social media and the 24/7 news cycle has the potential to create rapid contagion and this can have an immediate and lasting impact on an organisation’s shareholder value and reputation,” Aon Australia Managing Director for Large Clients Bruce Gordon said.

In light of Australia’s acute technology skills shortages, the nation’s respondents ranked a failure to attract or retain top talent as seventh on their list of top risks. But globally, this category did not even make it into the top 10.

“Australian businesses are finding themselves operating in a difficult environment, with recent changes to sponsored employment visas limiting organisations’ ability to source top talent from overseas,” Gordon said.

“It therefore comes as no surprise that this risk issue should rank higher in the consciousness of Australian business leaders.”

Australian respondents are also slightly more concerned about the risks involved with a failure to innovate and meet customer needs (7th in Australia, 8th globally), as well as regulatory and legislative changes (9th in Australia, 10th globally) and increasing competition (4th in Australia, 5th globally).

By contrast, Australian respondents are slightly less concerned about the impact of an economic slowdown (2nd in Australia, 1st globally). They also ranked accelerated rates of market change as a mere 10th on their list of risk factors, whereas it was considered to be the third most pressing issue globally.

Australian top risks

  1. Damage to reputation/brand

  2. Economic slowdown/slow recovery

  3. Business interruption

  4. Increasing competition

  5. Cyber attacks/data breach

  6. Cash flow/liquidity risk

  7. Failure to attract or retain top talent

  8. Failure to innovate/meet customer needs

  9. Regulatory/legislative changes

  10. Accelerated rates of change in market factors

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