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Cyberattacks have dropped down the list of top concerns for global businesses compared with previous years, but remain the biggest risk for U.S. businesses, according to a World Economic Forum report released Thursday.
Amid a year that has seen a global pandemic, spread of infectious disease is a major concern for executives in the United States and businesses globally, jumping 28 spots to the second most recurring risk and appearing in the top 10 in all regions except South Asia, the report said.
Unemployment and spread of infectious disease were the top two risks cited by business executives globally, with fiscal crisis — last year’s top concern — falling to third place, the survey found.
The Regional Risks for Doing Business 2020 survey results are based on 12,012 responses from business leaders in 127 countries. They were given a list of 30 global risks and asked to select the five global risks that they believe to be of most concern for doing business in their country within the next decade.
The survey was developed in partnership with Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc., Zurich Insurance Group, and SK Group.
While the top risks for global businesses are mostly related to economics, climate-related risks are causing greater concern this year, with natural catastrophes, extreme weather events and failure of climate change adaptation all rising up the list, the WEF said in a statement accompanying the report.
The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the importance of business resilience to cyber risks, John Doyle, president and CEO of Marsh LLC said in the statement
“Just as economic and climate concerns will require firms to refocus business plans, a greater reliance on digital infrastructures will mean a marked increase in cyber risk exposures. To optimize recovery, organizations will need to build greater preparedness into their business models in order to be more resilient in the face of future disruptions,” Mr. Doyle said.