Technology, financial concerns top risk surveys

Several new surveys show that workers feel the world is riskier than ever, citing BYOD and financial issues as sources of concern

A new series of studies from the likes of Travelers, Coalfire, Accenture, PwC and others, show that Americans are acutely aware that the world is becoming riskier, which, in turn, means that companies need to be more vigilant in dealing with risks in advance. 

Technology concerns were cited in several of the studies. The “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend is one that is fraught with risks. A recent survey by GFI shows that over 95 percent of U.S. office workers used public, non-secure Wi-Fi with their tablets or smartphones, accessing sensitive work documents or servers.

A similar study by Coalfire underscored the lax stance that many workers take toward device security. The study showed that almost half of users failed to password-protect their devices, and nearly one third used the same password over and over again. The same study found that IT departments did not always do their part to help, as 47 percent of respondents stated that IT failed to discuss mobile security best practices with them.

Other recent studies show an increased concern about risk in multiple areas. A survey conducted by Travelers found that 63 percent of consumers felt that the business world is riskier than ever and – based on a study conducted by Accenture – 62 percent of companies expect legal risks to rise in the next two years.

Financial risk is high on the list of concerns for Americans, as 68 percent of respondents from The Travelers study cited it as an issue. This echoes the findings of the Financial Accounting Standards Board survey, which found that respondents were concerned about disclosure, accounting, hedging and conceptual frameworks, among other financial concerns.

And these concerns are found across the board. As the authors of the Travelers study put it, “Levels of concern are consistent across geographical regions when it comes to many forms of risk, including financial concerns.”

In addition to technology and financial matters, regulatory concerns in the healthcare sector are also top-of-mind, as is corruption in the defense sector.

These surveys, taken as a whole, indicate that companies are aware that the business world is becoming riskier, and that these risks are more varied and complex than ever, and that businesses need to take the time and effort to consider these risks in advance, designing training and compliance strategy to minimize these risks.

Senior Editor

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Rich Steeves

Richard P. Steeves is Senior Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he covers the intellectual property and compliance beats. Rich earned a B.A. in English Literature...

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