The Risk Barometer 2023: Cybersecurity incidents are the number one concern for businesses

Entrepreneurs around the world are primarily concerned about the danger of cybersecurity incidents, such as IT disruptions, ransomware attacks, or data breaches. This is what emerges from the latest Risk Barometer, the annual survey conducted by Allianz. Secondly, entrepreneurs mention the danger of further business interruptions such as those caused by Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine in recent years.

Each year, Allianz surveys entrepreneurs in 94 countries to find out the risks that concern them most. Similar to last year, cyber risks topped the rankings. Johan Geeroms, Director Risk Underwriting Benelux: “Two things strike me in particular. Of course the seriousness of cyber risks. These are hitting businesses hard. This is closely linked to digitization, which is advancing rapidly. Dependence on computers and the Internet continues to grow. It makes businesses vulnerable."

The second important thing revealed by this survey is that our researchers expect the high levels of business disruptions such as those we have experienced in recent years, due to the pandemic and the war in Ukraine, to will also continue this year. Do not think the worst is behind us. Energy, inflation, recession, geopolitical turbulence; the risks are multiple. Uncertainty in the business world is considerable. Business life is not easy. Every operation faces uncertainty. Added to this, the threat of computer systems being disrupted, whether by criminals or not.

Johan Geeroms recalls that the results of the Risk Barometer are a global average. “If you zoom in on specific countries or large groups, you see different results. If you look at Germany, for example, you see that entrepreneurs are primarily concerned about business interruptions due to geopolitical tensions. What could be more logical! The country is relatively close to the war zone. This threat is also at the top of the concerns of large companies all over the world."

This year, the Risk Barometer is in its 12th edition. Never before have "energy risks" been in the top 10. This year, they appear there for the first time and occupy 4th place. Energy consumption differs from company to company, but energy shortage and high prices are a huge problem for many industries. This can completely destroy the profitability of industries. To find solutions, companies often have to take drastic measures, such as moving production to other sites or sometimes even opting for a temporary closure. This problem is particularly prevalent in Europe. According to the survey, in Europe, it is above all the food, agricultural, chemical, pharmaceutical, manufacturing and construction industries that are vulnerable.

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1. Cybersecurity incidents (34%)*

2. New business interruptions (also 34%)

3. Macroeconomic developments (25%, think monetary policy)

4. Energy crisis (22%)

5. Legislative changes (19%)

6. Natural disasters (19%)

7. Climate Change (17%)

8. Shortage of staff (14%)

9. Fires and explosions (14%)

10. Political risks and violence (13%)

* The percentage indicates the frequency with which the risk in question was mentioned.

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