Australian leaders rank cyber as top business risk

Australian leaders rank cyber as top business risk

According to PwC, Australian business leaders are far more concerned about cybersecurity risks than their global counterparts.

The company’s 2022 Global Risk Survey found that 32% of respondents rated cybersecurity as one of the top risks to revenue growth, compared to just 20% globally.

Australian respondents ranked cybersecurity ahead of business operating model risks (22%), geopolitical risks (19%), recruitment and retention (19%) and workforce management (17%).

In contrast, respondents around the world only ranked cyber third on the list (20%), below market risk (22%) and operating model risk (21%), but ahead of external changes (20%) and geopolitical risks (18%). .

Cyber ​​was also ranked as a higher risk than the impacts of COVID, economic volatility and climate change by Australian respondents, said Rick Crethar, PwC Australia’s head of cybersecurity and risk advisory partner.

“We are more locally aware of our exposure to cyber threats. The government has also intensified its focus on our national cybersecurity strategy and our broader risk management obligations on our critical infrastructure,” he said.

The survey found that in the face of growing risk, 58% of Australian respondents plan to focus on hiring more risk professionals, while nearly two-thirds (63%) plan to increase their spending on risk technology. risk.

More than half of organizations also plan to close the skills gap by increasing their spend and use of managed services.

“The talent war is already impacting risk management functions across the country,” Crethar said. “To address talent challenges, Australian leaders plan to use a combination of recruiting, technology enhancement and flexible operating models.”

The top challenges related to risk management within organizations of Australian respondents were constraints on risk management resources (87%), lack of skills required of risk owners (87%), lack of skills required risk management functions (84%) and high staff turnover (79%).

“Leading Australian organizations recognize that they need more skills and expertise for some of the more complex risks, such as third party risk, privacy, data, financial crime, strategy/modelling, cyber and ESG,” Crethar said.

“The challenge is that the second line headcount is still low, which places greater reliance on alternative sourcing models and greater automation to free up existing skilled resources.”

Other emerging risks Australian organizations are watching closely include the macroeconomic environment, with fears of a recession looming, as well as major climate change impacts such as extreme weather and natural disasters, according to the report. .

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