This finding suggests the need for dialogue at the highest levels of the organization to ensure everyone agrees on the most critical enterprise risks. The proliferation of data gathered and stored for long periods by all types of organizations across international borders is exponentially increasing operational challenges related to the tracking, warehousing and protecting of that data. We’ve lived with growing levels of geopolitical risk for nearly a decade, but without a true international crisis. It’s a phrase loaded – falsely, perhaps – with suggestions of a return to something familiar or at least predictable. This fragmentation, and the complexity it creates, will persist through the end of 2020 and most likely far beyond. 9. Not surprisingly, information security and cyber remained the top risk for 2020. Here are ten of the top geopolitical risks to watch out for in 2020: 2020 elections : Either a Trump reelection or a victory for a Democratic challenger is bound to deepen US political tribalism. Our participants focused on a wide range of issues, from business disruption and malicious attacks to data protection and innovation. If there’s one emerging risk that will dominate 2020, it will be the development of natural disasters and the consequential damage they impose on livelihoods across the globe. We certainly did not forecast the COVID-19 pandemic. Just as the world entered the crisis with a crunching of gears and multiple wrong turns, it is reversing out of it in the same manner. Risks require prevention and protection to be considered through a global, interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach. And a world waiting for the US to elect – or re-elect – a president will not wait idly on the side lines. Succession challenges and talent acquisition and retention (2) The risk of succession challenges … The Top Geopolitical Risks of 2020 December 12, 2019 Rising geopolitical and geo-economic tensions represent the most urgent global risks, and will only continue to escalate in 2020. Each of them remains acutely valid, and even more vivid. As large protests worldwide in solidarity show, addressing racial, ethnic, LGBTQI, sectarian and other forms of discrimination is not just a US – or indeed a purely governmental – problem. In the past, it might have sufficed to adopt a somewhat defensive or reactive approach to manage these risks. Continued vigilance is critical. Public anger over sluggish growth, corruption, and low-quality public services will keep the risk of political instability high across Latin America in 2020. The distant, unknowable future usually holds the greatest risk; our comfort zone is the short term, where nothing hides out of sight. This summary provides a context for understanding the most critical uncertainties companies face in 2020. In addition to the countless lives lost or damaged, the fabric of business and society is being rewoven into a new pattern. Survey respondents were asked to rate 30 different risks involving macroeconomic, strategic, and operational issues. Leaders of organizations of virtually every size, industry and geographic location are reminded all too frequently that they operate in an increasingly risky world. COVID-19 lockdowns put a lid on many mass protest movements, but as restrictions are lifted, so too is the lid on social activism. , 1. OnRisk 2020 brings together the perspectives of the board, executive management, and chief audit executives (CAEs) on the risks that are top of mind for 2020 and beyond. This is the case for countries heavily dependent on oil exports. For example, the blending of this risk with the fourth-ranked risk above — the inability to adjust existing operations, IT infrastructure and digital capabilities to compete with more nimble competitors — creates a potentially lethal combination. It won’t stop there. Over 70 percent of respondents rated this concern as a significant risk issue for 2020. Top five risks to the global economy in 2020. The Economist Intelligence Unit expects global growth to stand at only 2.9% in 2020, close to decade lows. 3 Theft and fraud. AI-enabled technologies will greatly influence — often by enabling and sometimes by making more complex — how companies design and manage their labor models. Time and risk are fellow travellers. Interestingly, economic concerns are in the top-five list of risks for all regions of the world, except in North America. This remains the case, and the list is growing. Risk.net staff @riskdotnet 04 Mar 2020; Tweet . As with our prior surveys, our results offer snapshots by industry, executive position, company size and type and geographic area. Geopolitical & macroeconomic leads the emerging risks Now, the greatest risk resides in the short term, which remains full of unknowns. As the future world of work evolves, organizations need to optimize their mix of internal, contracted and interim human talent and electronic workers (machines and algorithms). The Protiviti report includes an in-depth analysis of the risk concerns recorded in the survey. The way we work – whether we remain at home, have returned to offices and factories or have been there all along– feels dramatically different. Most executives concerned about economic conditions. Systemic racial discrimination in the US – which draws as well from income inequality and is accelerated by the pandemic’s disproportionate blow to racial and ethnic minorities– promises to make the coming year pitched with protest. For example, shifts in regulations related to privacy, product development and approval, trade and tariff policies, the environment, social issues and broader governance expectations have been happening and continue to happen around the world, impacting any organization that wishes to do business both within and outside its home-country borders. Respondents continue to highlight the need to give attention to the overall culture of the organization to ensure it is sufficient to encourage the timely identification and escalation of risk issues. Economic and social factors are beginning to outweigh public health; for millions across the world, the choice is increasingly between unsustainable hardship and risking infection by continuing to work.  “The Implications of Technical Debt to Your Company’s Competitiveness,” by Jim DeLoach, Corporate Compliance Insights, January 23, 2020, available at www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/implications-technical-debt/. Send to . The presence of this risk, coupled with concerns over resistance to change, reflects on the state of an organization’s overall culture. We also pose key questions as a call to action for board members and executive management to consider — questions that can serve as a diagnostic to evaluate and improve their organization’s risk assessment and management processes. Talent and culture risks and technology and innovation risks dominate the top 10. A globally fragmented resumption will further distract key governments from addressing long-standing strategic issues that loomed at the start of the year. For each of the 30 risk issues, we computed the average score reported by all respondents. Global companies will come under increasing pressure to ensure their diversity, inclusion and ethics policies meet the moment. Respondents remain noticeably concerned about the ability of their organizations — relative to competitors — to adjust their existing operations, IT infrastructure and digital capabilities to meet performance expectations. Many people have spent time working from home and still are - potentially working outside the perimeter of their companies’ cyber protection. This concern may be a composite of several significant uncertainties — the company’s digital readiness, its lack of resiliency and agility needed to stay ahead of or keep pace with changing market realities, the restrictive burden of significant technical debt, the lack of out-of-the-box thinking about the business model and fundamental assumptions underlying the business strategy and the existence or threat of more nimble or “born digital” competitors. No longer able to campaign on a robust US economy and facing the most significant civil unrest in generations, incumbent President Donald Trump is pulling out the stops to shore up sagging support in critical swing states. That risk concern raced from the number 10 position in 2018 to the number one position for 2019. Which companies had inferior healthcare coverage? As the expanding digital economy enables businesses and third-party organizations to house sensitive information obtained in many ways, the potential exposure of that information raises such questions as how much data is too much data, does the organization need effective guardrails around data collection to manage its risk, and is the monetizing of the data collected delivering a return on investment that makes the risk of collecting and managing the data worthwhile? : Who Governs the US? Injuries and fatalities … To download, select the icon from the top right-hand corner of this page. 10. This framework might include, on the human side, outsourcing and offshoring, consulting partnerships, interim staffing, business process as a service (BPaaS) relationships, managed services and a variety of “human cloud” arrangements. As major business model disruptors emerge — whether from technology advancements, competitor actions, regulations or other sources — respondents are growing even more focused on their organizations’ potential unwillingness or inability to make necessary timely adjustments to the business model and core operations that might be needed to respond to change. The pandemic, however, seems to be the moment the world wasn’t waiting for, and apparently wasn’t prepared for, either. Construction frequently requires workers to work at height. For 2020 and beyond, activism and civil unrest have a new driver: the pandemic. His opponent – former vice president Joe Biden – is gaining simply by standing still. Jim has been appointed to the NACD Directorship 100 list from 2012 to 2017. www.corporatecomplianceinsights.com/implications-technical-debt/, Remote Compliance: Managing InfoSec Audits from a Distance, Risk Management and AI: A Regulatory Path Forward, Implications of India’s New Labor Law Codes, 5 Steps to Implement a Sanctions Compliance Program, Proactive Monitoring: A Sound Approach to Compliance. Shifts in how individuals want to work, their ability to be nimble enough to adjust to the changing nature of work and their lifestyle preferences are straining the ability of organizations to attract and retain the talent needed. But it also includes a technological side, such as robotic process automation and AI-enabled technologies that both displace existing skills and demand new skills. Video This risk issue was added to our 2015 risk survey, and it has been ranked in the top 10 risks each year since that time. Sustaining customer loyalty and retention may be becoming increasingly difficult (10). Economic conditions restricting growth prospects in relevant markets (11). Watch all of them, with an eye toward their political longevity. Simply stated, technology is expected to support and shape the components of the workforce by offering additional capabilities that, if applied intelligently, will increase quality, compress elapsed time, reduce costs and enhance scalability. Culture may not encourage timely escalation of risk issues (9). How is your internet connection holding up? The economy was also the top risk condition for … The “new normal” has become a cliché for the world we are feeling our way towards. We thought many of those countries would come under extreme pressure in 2020. Economic distress and healthcare inequality will underpin new political challenges. Respondents continue to perceive that significant operational challenges may arise if organizations are unable to build and sustain a workforce with the skills needed to implement their growth strategies, forcing them to consider alternative forms of labor. As 2020 has already shown, five months is an eternity: there is still a long road before 3 November. Read the risk. Most people think that the physical and virtual worlds are separate, but in reality the virtual world is very much affected by the natural disasters of the physical world. These are where cyberattackers inject code into a website — … TURKEY. The election itself will be fraught and unprecedented. The time has come to update our Top Risks 2020, taking into account how the coronavirus has accelerated the trends that worry us most. A reckoning awaits. This is the case for countries with shaky political coalitions. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has entered a period of steep political decline. The disruption to our very sense of time is profound but little discussed – so much else is more urgent. Egypt and Spain too will face political stresses, but everyone is in uncharted territory. Recent concerns about the overall strength of the global economy, particularly in light of the ongoing Brexit debate between the United Kingdom and European Union, uncertainties over global trade discussions, declines in certain manufacturing sectors, and a general reduction of growth in major economies have clearly heightened this risk for 2020. The Trump and Biden campaigns will continue to accuse each other of being soft on China, while the administration and Congress will stack pressure on Beijing up to and beyond the election. Concerns over operational capabilities have strategic underpinnings. A Trump victory would set the United States up for four more years of withdrawal from the multilateral world order, while a narrow Trump loss could cause domestic political turmoil. This task entails changing the entity’s current job structures — potentially displacing a significant number of existing job roles — and reorganizing these structures in a different framework of discrete, deconstructed units deploying a range of approaches, relationships and technologies. Airmic 1st July 2020. There is some comfort to be taken in this landscape of uncertainty. Risk outlook: the world in 2020. Renewed economic activity will not lift all the ships of state equally. Respondents recognize that reality, with two-thirds of our respondents rating this risk as a significant impact risk concern for 2020. Businesses across Africa are also increasingly concerned about business interruption as it has become the continent’s top risk in 2020 from 5th in 2019,” he said. Successes were fewer still. Which companies laid off workers, and how many? Helping organisations succeed in a volatile world, © Control Risks Group Holdings Ltd registration no.01548306, 5. Download eBook: Top 10 Risk & Compliance Trends for 2020. Date last reviewed: October 2020 This is a resource for quality assurance and risk management purposes only, and is not intended to provide or replace legal or medical advice or reflect standards of … Cybersecurity: the stakes have never been higher, Watch the RiskMap 2020 Special Edition Webinar. In addition, volatility in equity markets, changes in the U.S. federal funds rate, actions by other central banks, multiple tariff and trade policy disputes and negotiations and the continued uncertainty surrounding the United Kingdom’s break from the European Union have executives on the edge of their seats, wondering if an economic downturn is on the near-term horizon. And for just about everyone, the question of what happened yesterday, last week or last month has become a distorted guessing game. The unprecedented alignment of capability and intent set 2020 up to be the year when we would see a large-scale attack on critical infrastructure. 2020 is a tipping point. Top risks and megatrends 2020 Airmic annual survey report. Increasingly sophisticated attacks by perpetrators of cybercrime add to the uncertainty. However, putting pressing public health concerns aside momentarily, the COVID-19 pandemic has intensified and accelerated most of the risks and trends that pre-dated the disease. Airmic’s survey report for 2020 highlights the risks and megatrends impacting organisations and provides the context in which risk professionals are operating. Most of the few attempts at cooperation – sending ventilators or other supplies to countries in need – came undone amid claims of mismanagement, fraud or political ill will. The way we live – with our kitchens transformed into classrooms and offices – is filled with new rhythms and habits. Activists are taking to the digital streets in large numbers as physical restrictions and violent repression make cyber activism an increasingly effective tool for projecting opinions. Below, we rank the common risk themes in order of priority, noting the previous year’s rankings parenthetically. During the early phases of the pandemic, it was difficult to identify the trouble spots. Activist societies already cite the COVID-19 crisis as an impetus for transformative environmental, social and economic policies. Brazil stands out as a country whose handling of COVID-19 threatens political stability. Governments will be held to account for their death rates and infection counts. Senior executives and their boards may want to consider the above risks in evaluating the risks inherent in their organization’s operations and the board’s risk oversight focus for the coming year. The bitter COVID-19 blame game has been a catalyst for strategic rivalry that had threatened to boil over prior to the pandemic. Antifa. That reluctance may be triggered by a lack of knowledge among employees about the process for escalating risk concerns and when to use it. Perhaps there was no other way. Economic conditions in markets we currently serve may significantly restrict growth opportunities for our organization 3. The US has held successful presidential elections at times of national crisis before – think 1864 or 1968 – but not in the crucible of a deadly global pandemic. Concurrently, multinational companies – and their dense trans-Pacific supply chains – will be key players shaping how far US-China competition upends established business patterns. Democratic governors. This reality is one that no management team or board can ignore. Executives continue to be concerned about their ability to enact change, despite the reality that change has become a way of life for most companies. Succession challenges and talent acquisition and retention (2). Interesting shifts in the 2020 top 10 risks. Companies with global footprints will themselves have to become leaders in navigating a minefield of conflicting political priorities, regulatory regimes and pandemic de-escalation. top risks expected to increase in 2020 respondents to global risks perception survey (%) economic confrontation/frictions between major powers 78.5% domestic political polarisation 78.4% extreme heat waves 77.1% destruction of natural ecosystems 76.2% cyber attacks: disruption of operations and infrastructure 76.1% protectionism regarding trade and investment It is a risk that executives may want to focus their attention on, as it signals a noticeable concern that employees across the organization may be aware of risks, but for whatever reason, are reluctant to escalate them to executive management or the board. Added to our 2020 survey, this risk debuted in the top 10, reflecting an overall concern among survey respondents that the adoption of digital technologies — such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and natural language processing — in their organizations may require new skills that either are in short supply or require significant efforts to upskill and reskill existing employees. Jim DeLoach has over 35 years of experience and is a member of Protiviti’s Solutions Leadership Team. This is a concern for most respondents, with some exceptions noted below. China. For others, the clocks went into overdrive. With a few exceptions, autocracies and democracies have fumbled at least some aspects of their pandemic responses – they both confused and exasperated their populations and their business communities. However, the nature of the top 10 risks this year — which include risks associated with the ability to adjust operations, IT infrastructure and digital capabilities to fend off threats from “born digital” players, resistance to change, talent acquisition and retention challenges, uncertainty over cyber and privacy issues, customer loyalty concerns, regulatory disruption and the effect of AI-enabled technologies on the future of work — indicates that this drop likely occurred because respondents in prior surveys were concerned about the potential for disruptive change, whereas now they are concerned about the disruption that is already upon them. The proliferation of legislation to protect the privacy of personal information initiated in the European Union and spreading to the United States and elsewhere across the planet has created enormous complexities for business, with companies facing potential fines, penalties and reputation loss that cannot be ignored. Following are the top 10 risks identified in the “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2020” report: 1. LinkedIn . If the company’s risk assessment processes have not identified these issues as priority risks, executives and directors should ask why not — and consider the relevance of these issues to their business. The activist society passes judgement. The COVID-19 crisis provides a concrete illustration of the growing connectivity of risks, which AXA presented as one of the main findings of last year’s report. The pandemic has stood that principle on its head. This is not hubris or “We told you so”. This vital specialized knowledge and subject-matter expertise are in high demand and becoming harder to acquire and retain on a cost-effective basis. One important observation, consistent with prior years, is that there is variation in views among boards and C-suite executives regarding the magnitude and severity of risks for 2020. Prior to the pandemic, a number of countries presented a volatile mix of political instability and economic vulnerability. Even when executives are aware of emerging technologies that obviously have disruptive potential, it is often difficult to clarify the implications of the vision or foresight that anticipates the nature and extent of change — particularly if the organization does not think or act digitally at its core. World leaders, each in their own patch, will continue to act unilaterally. Digital effectiveness remains in the top three risks and opportunities … Roddy Dunlop said the rate of Covid transmission in the capital is "so low" that it should be placed into Level 2 and the government's refusal put firms at risk of "financial ruin", STV reports. In particular, COVID-19 accentuated national security concerns around biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Broadly speaking, we do not believe the pandemic has created substantial new categories of risk. Conduct risk returns to this year’s Top 10 Op Risks, although it’s never really been away. What’s at stake is sustaining a workforce with the requisite talent and skills needed to think creatively in a rapidly changing digital marketplace, execute high-performance business models and implement increasingly demanding growth strategies. It focuses on a range of issues, including digitalization, business resilience, organizational change, and geopolitical risks.  “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks 2020,” Protiviti and North Carolina State University’s ERM Initiative. Cyber incidents have been ranked as the top business risk in the Allianz Global Risk Barometer 2020, knocking business interruption from a top spot it had held for seven consecutive years. Protiviti’s Jim DeLoach provides an update from the ERM Initiative of the various risks organizations face relative to two years ago. Supply chain attacks are on the rise. 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