Cyber incidents are now the number-one risk for Australian businesses, according to the latest Allianz Risk Barometer.
The report is published yearly by Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality (AGCS), with the 2018 version – its seventh – based on the insights of a record 1,911 ‘risk experts’ from 80 countries.
‘Cyber incidents’, such as data breaches and IT failure, were ranked as the top risk by 49 per cent of Australian businesses surveyed, moving up from third in 2017 (31 per cent of responses). In second place for 2018 was last year’s top risk, ‘business interruption’, with 46 per cent of responses.
AGCS Australia CEO Willem van Wyk says the greater risk rating was probably due to new mandatory data-notification laws that will come into effect across the country on February 22.
“Cyber risk is a 24/seven threat that continues to dominate board discussions both here in Australia and around the world as companies grapple with this fast-evolving risk,” he said.
The risk of ‘new technologies’ also jumped significantly on this year’s risk list, from seventh place in 2017 to equal third (alongside ‘changes in legislation and regulation’) with 28 per cent of responses.
“Australia’s top risks paint an interesting picture of the local business landscape, with companies clearly concerned about how new technologies will either help or hinder their operations, and what the regulatory environment will do in response,” Mr van Wyk said.
Top 10 business risks in Australia
|Risk||Per cent||2017 rank|
|Cyber incidents (eg, cyber crime, IT failure, data breaches)||49||3 (31 per cent)|
|Business interruption (including supply chain disruption)||46||1 (51 per cent)|
|Changes in legislation and regulation (eg, government change, economic sanctions, protectionism, Brexit, Eurozone disintegration||28||4 (23 per cent)|
|New technologies (eg, impact of increasing interconnectivity, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, drones)||28||7 (18 per cent)|
|Loss of reputation or brand value||26||7 (18 per cent)|
|Natural catastrophes (eg, storm, flood, earthquake)||26||6 (21 per cent)|
|Market developments (eg, volatility, intensified competition/ new entrants, M&A, market stagnation, market fluctuation)||21||2 (44 per cent)|
|Quality deficiencies, serial defects, product recall||13||New|
|Climate change/increasing volatility of weather||10||New|