In its annual State of Risk Report, Healix International has identified five operational risks facing businesses in 2023.
“Business leaders are well aware of the various disasters and emergencies that occur on the global stage, but some are ill-equipped to mitigate the risks to business assets and employees,” said Chris Jobe, Director of Risk Management Services at Healix. “An understanding of the key risks facing their company will not eliminate the threat, but it will enable business leaders to proactively implement the necessary measures to improve their current security procedures.”
Safety and health risk services company International SOS also released its interactive Risk Map 2023 earlier this month.
“Diversification” of global extremism
Hyaliks noted that the trend of extremist behavior in 2022 is far from traditional terrorist ideology and tends to diversify.
As such, the company advises businesses to be “vigilant” about their duty of care for staff traveling abroad and to put in place appropriate levels of risk mitigation, which could include mobile phone monitoring and evacuation routes if necessary.
“Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, anti-LGBTQ+, white supremacy, anti-establishment views, and sexism widen the kaleidoscope of extremist beliefs, and more traditional insurgent groups continue to operate,” the company said.
Political polarization is deepening
Along with extremism, increasing political polarization will be a feature of multiple elections in 2022, “affecting previously more neutral systems like Sweden,” Helix said. Similarly, in Italy, right-wing Giorgia Meloni became the first woman to win the Italian prime ministership after a campaign based on nationalist and anti-European Union rhetoric.
“This trend is likely to be followed by the 2023 elections in Colombia and Brazil,” the company explained, adding: “Businesses that regularly employ staff abroad will find that once prosperous places are engulfed in political and social chaos. companies will need to improve their existing security measures to combat additional security and operational risks.”
The risk of a climate-related crisis is increasing
Hyalics also highlighted the threat of severe weather events due to global climate change, adding that “extreme weather events occur once in a century and every year.”
Businesses are advised to take stronger measures to reduce the risk of such events in their regular operations and in taking care of their traveling staff, especially in regional hotspots.
It highlighted the heavy rains in Pakistan in October 2022 that killed 1,700 people and flooded 75 percent of Sindh.
In late September, Hurricane Ian caused extensive infrastructure damage in Cuba and Florida, and Australia’s fire season has been extended by an average of 27 days over the past 40 years.
Digitalization is increasing cyber risk
The growing digitization of the workplace presents greater opportunities for cyberattacks as “more personal, networked devices emerge and become hybrids.” [or remote] work will increase’. Healix advised businesses to “reinforce” cyber security measures while also “increasing employee awareness and vigilance”.
The company reported 15 million data breaches worldwide in the third quarter of 2022 as a result of its digital transformation of the business.
Another recent report by Allianz Partners reinforces this need, noting that the adoption of remote working methods is “here to stay.”
The ongoing energy crisis caused by Russia’s aggression in Ukraine could impose additional business costs. Healix pointed out that the Russian government continues to “weaponize” its natural gas exports, which have fallen by almost a third (30 percent) since the start of the war. Therefore, entrepreneurs may be exposed to financial risks.
At the extreme end, power shortages could exacerbate civil unrest, as seen in Sri Lanka earlier this year, and put foreign workers at risk.