While the global business environment in 2015 is perceived to be somewhat less risky for organizations than it was in the last two years, business leaders are still more likely to invest in additional risk management resources this year, according to Protiviti and North Carolina State University’s ERM Initiative’s report Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2015. The report identified different perceptions between boards of directors and members of the executive team regarding current risks – CEOs and boards of directors find themselves more optimistic about risk issues, while CFOs and chief audit executives perceived a more risky business environment.

One of the top risks still on the C-Suite’s radar is cyber – more than half of the global survey respondents indicated that insufficient preparation to manage cyber threats is a risk that will “significantly impact” their organizations this year.

Overall, the top 10 risks for 2015, as identified in this study, are:

  1. Regulatory changes and heightened regulatory scrutiny may affect the manner in which our products or services will be produced or delivered.
  2. Economic conditions in markets we currently serve may significantly restrict growth opportunities for our organization.
  3. Our organization may not be sufficiently prepared to manage cyber threats that have the potential to sufficiently disrupt our core operations and/or damage our brand.
  4. Our organization’s succession challenges and ability to attract and retain top talent may limit our ability to achieve operational targets.
  5. Our organization’s culture may not sufficiently encourage the timely identification and escalation of risk issues that have the potential to significantly affect our core operations and achievement of strategic objectives.
  6. Resistance to change may restrict our organization from making necessary adjustments to the business model and core operations.
  7. Ensuring privacy/identity management and information security/system protection may require significant resources for us.
  8. Our organization may not be sufficiently prepared to manage an unexpected crisis significantly impacting our reputation.
  9. Sustaining customer loyalty and retention may be increasingly difficult due to evolving customer preferences and/or demographic shifts in our existing customer base.
  10. Our existing operations may not be able to meet performance expectations related to quality, time to market, cost and innovation as well as our competitors.