Cyber attacks are the top business risk for organisations in Australia, according to Aon’s 2023 Global Risk Management Survey

SYDNEY, Feb. 19 2024 - Aon plc (NYSE: AON), a leading global professional services firm, has announced the results of its 2023 Global Risk Management Survey, which gathered input from almost 3000 risk managers, c-suite leaders and other executives from 61 countries and territories to identify their most-pressing business challenges.
The top business risks for Australia according to Aon’s 2023 Global Risk Management Survey are:

  • Cyber Attacks/Data Breach
  • Regulatory/Legislative Changes
  • Failure to Attract or Retain Top Talent
  • Economic Slowdown/Slow Recovery
  • Damage to Reputation/Brand
  • Business Interruption
  • Supply Chain or Distribution Failure
  • Workforce Shortage
  • Major Project Failure
  • Cash Flow/Liquidity Risk

Cyber attacks/data breach remains the number one business risk for Australia, after also reaching the top spot in the 2021 survey. This speaks to the pervasiveness of cyber risk and mirrors a global trend of growing awareness of the cyber threat landscape, as evidenced by the steady placement of the top spot over recent years.
After placing sixth in 2021, regulatory/legislative changes now ranks as the number two risk in the region. The increasing complexity of managing regulatory risk across multiple jurisdictions is a key driver for this. An organisation’s social licence to operate – particularly important to sectors such as resources and financial institutions – is coming under increased scrutiny and will elevate a range of new and related risks facing leaders in the years to come.
Failure to attract or retain top talent is also a focus for Australian business leaders. This shows that human capital issues are a key business risk that is fuelled by the competition for talent and workforce shortages. Shortfalls in talent, workforce or critical specialised skills can hamper innovation and competitiveness and increase exposure to cyber attacks, regulatory breaches, supply chain issues, business interruption and reputational damage.
Climate directly impacts three of the top 10 risks: business interruption, supply chain/distribution failure and regulatory/legislative changes. The growing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events in the region increases the risk of business interruption and supply chain/distribution failure considerably, and the rapidly evolving net zero transformation has a myriad of implications for market trends and mandatory climate disclosures across sectors.
Jennifer Richards, chief executive officer of Aon in Australia, said: “As leaders look to the future of their businesses in an increasingly volatile world, new and emerging threats are reshaping their views of risk and sharpening the need to make better decisions. With cyber risks, regulatory changes and attracting and retaining top talent identified as top risks for businesses facing organisations today, there is a compelling need to be better prepared by accessing insights driven by advanced analytics and expert advisors to elaborate on the dynamics of both short and long-tail risks. Through integrated risk capital and human capital capabilities, we’re helping our clients quantify and manage the risks they face today as we innovate on their behalf to serve their future needs.”
Conducted every two years since 2007, Aon's Global Risk Management Survey provides data and insights to enable better decision making around risk in an increasingly volatile and complex business environment.
View the full Australian survey results here. The 2023 Global Risk Management Survey is available here.


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