Cybercrime remains a top risk for businesses worldwide


Cybercrime continues to pose one of the largest risks for businesses globally and in Switzerland, according to the annual survey “Allianz Risk Barometer” by Allianz Commercial. The survey reveals that cyber incidents such as ransomware attacks, data breaches, and IT failures are the primary concern for companies, followed by business interruptions and natural disasters. In Switzerland, cyber incidents and business interruptions are also identified as the top risks, followed by changes in laws and regulations such as tariffs and sanctions.

Cyber Attacks: The Greatest Risk to Global Businesses

The survey results indicate that companies worldwide are facing the challenges of digitalization, climate change, and the uncertain geopolitical situation. Among these challenges, cyber incidents pose the greatest risk as they can cause significant financial and reputational damage to businesses. Data breaches, attacks on critical infrastructure, and the increasing prevalence of ransomware attacks are particularly concerning threats in this domain.

Operational disruptions pose a significant risk to businesses as they can disrupt normal business operations and result in financial losses. This risk is particularly heightened in regions prone to extreme weather events, as natural disasters can severely impact companies. It is crucial for businesses to have robust contingency plans in place to mitigate the potential consequences of such disruptions and ensure business continuity.

The survey highlights regional disparities in risk perception, with countries such as Brazil, Greece, Mexico, and Turkey ranking climate change as one of the top risks due to the significant threat posed by extreme weather events and resulting physical damage. Additionally, political risks and violence are also on the rise in the rankings, primarily driven by conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine, as well as upcoming elections in various countries.

Large and small companies worldwide have the same risk perception, but they differ in their resilience. Large companies have become more aware of risks due to the COVID-19 pandemic and have taken measures to strengthen their resilience. On the other hand, smaller companies often lack the resources to effectively prepare for risk scenarios and therefore require more support. This highlights the need for tailored risk management strategies based on the size and capabilities of each company.

The year 2024 will see cybersecurity remaining the top risk for businesses. Cyber incidents such as data breaches and ransomware attacks continue to pose the greatest threat. Additionally, disruptions to operations and natural disasters are also significant risks that companies need to consider. To mitigate these risks, businesses should prioritize risk management by ensuring their business continuity, identifying supply chain bottlenecks, and establishing alternative suppliers.

Despite the challenges, there is optimism in the air as macroeconomic developments and high inflation rates are gradually becoming a thing of the past, with lower interest rates expected. However, the shortage of skilled professionals, particularly in the field of cyber security, remains a problem. To effectively protect themselves against cyber crimes, companies must therefore invest more in the search for IT and data experts.

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