The Biggest Threats Facing Business

Case study: Opportunity assessment

Every aspect of an organisation is vulnerable to some kind of threat. Most of us can think of an occasion when work was disrupted by inclement weather or a power outage.

Without a back-up plan, business disruptions can result in significant downtime, impacting revenue and sometimes business reputation. The London Chamber of Commerce claims that 43% of companies experiencing disasters never reopen.

On behalf of XL Group’s Global Business Continuity Management Team, B2B International was tasked with researching how well prepared companies are in responding to a range of threats.

The research comprised a global online survey of 323 business professionals who influence risk management processes within their organisation. The focus was on large companies spanning the UK, France, Germany, Singapore, Australia and the US.

The biggest risks to business operations are damage to the brand, cyber threats, economic uncertainty, fraud and intellectual property theft. Cyber threats and brand damage are significantly greater risks for larger companies with 20,000+ employees. Companies in Singapore voiced greater concerns about supply chain disruption, transportation disruption, terrorism and pandemic than survey respondents in any other country.

Over a half of respondents indicated that the potential financial impact of a serious business disruption could result in a national revenue loss of at least 6%.

As risks to business operations increase, the biggest threat is a lack of risk management planning, often referred to as disaster recovery programmes or business continuity management. There are countless examples of the consequences of complacency when it comes to risk mitigation programmes. A business disruption is not a question of if, but when.

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