A new report by professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) has revealed that business organisations are increasingly concerned about the potential impact of inflation and cyber-attacks over the next 12 months. According to the report, 39 per cent of business leaders feel extremely exposed to the risks associated with inflation, while 37 per cent are concerned about the threat of cyber-attacks.
In addition to inflation and cyber-attacks, the report highlighted other prominent risk factors that business leaders are extremely exposed to. These factors include macroeconomic volatility (33 per cent), digital and technology risks (32 per cent), and climate change (28 per cent). Geopolitical conflicts, health risks, and social inequality were also cited as significant concerns, with 26 per cent, 23 per cent, and 22 per cent of respondents expressing high levels of exposure to these risks, respectively.
The report emphasized the increasing role of technology in shaping organizations’ exposure to risk, their willingness to take risks in pursuit of new opportunities, and the tools they use to mitigate and build resilience.
The findings of the PWC report align with those captured in the Allianz Risk Barometer, which ranked cyber incidents as the second-highest concern for Kenyan firms, closely following unpredictable changes in the country’s business regulations. Other factors identified in the Allianz report included market developments, theft and fraud, business interruption, climate change, energy crisis, and the risk of a pandemic outbreak.
The report also highlighted the increasing prominence of climate change and geopolitical conflicts as new entrants in the list of factors that are causing anxiety among business operators.
A recent cybersecurity report by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) revealed that local organizations faced a total of 123.9 million cyber threats during the three months from July to September. System attacks accounted for 89.7 per cent of the detected threats, followed by malware and brute force attacks at 6.1 per cent and 4.1 per cent, respectively. During the same period, the regulator issued 5.6 million advisories, indicating a slight increase from the previous year.
Regarding inflation, which topped the list of concerns in the PWC report, it refers to a measure of the cost of living over 12 months. Kenya’s inflation rate dropped to 6.9 per cent in October of this year, down from 9.6 per cent in the same month last year, according to the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS).
The report underscores the growing recognition of the complex and interconnected risks that businesses face in an increasingly digital and uncertain global environment. As organizations navigate these challenges, the need to develop robust risk management strategies and resilience measures has become more critical than ever. The findings from these reports serve as a timely reminder for business leaders to prioritize cybersecurity and risk mitigation efforts in order to safeguard their operations and prepare for the uncertainties that lie ahead.