A new WorldAware report breaks down key global threats for businesses seeking to protect their people and operations.

“In an era of increasing globalization, threats anywhere in the world pose risks to any organization, its supply chain, and its people,” says Bruce McIndoe, president and founder of WorldAware. “Through our intelligence and analysis of impactful events in 2018, our experts have forecasted next year’s trends to support organizations in proactively mitigating threats, both at their home office and across the world.”

Key global threats expected to impact organizations and travelers in 2019, include:

  • Worldwide wildfires will continue to spread. Wildfires and wildfire-derived threats like air quality, flooding and mudslides are expected to have long-lasting impacts through 2019 and beyond. With ongoing urbanization and increased temperatures due to climate change, wildfire events may be more disruptive and destructive resulting in significant infrastructure damage, loss of resources, and fatalities.
  • China may face a public health crisis due to counterfeit vaccines. In 2018, counterfeit vaccines left nearly 1 million Chinese citizens, mostly children, at risk of diseases they believed they were protected against. Market barriers to providing this group with re-vaccinations in 2019 could lead to a spike in communicable diseases.
  • Virtual kidnapping expected to evolve, proliferate worldwide. Opportunistic and sophisticated scams in which a ransom demand is made, but no actual hostage will become more prolific in high-threat regions, including Canada, the United Kingdom and South and Central America.
  • Regional migrant crisis in Venezuela likely to worsen. Government turmoil and a likely increase in sanctions will drive an influx of Venezuela migrants, causing financial pressures and social tensions in the region.
  • Airline failures likely to become more frequent in 2019. As the global economic conditions that allowed airlines to thrive show signs of changing in 2019, failures and shutdowns are expected to become more common, especially in major markets including India, Indonesia and Argentina.

Other notable assessments in the report include the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso, as well as political unrest and terrorism concerns around the 2019 elections in Indonesia and the Philippines. Trends in geopolitics and kidnapping including further trouble for Brexit, increased likelihood of war between Israel and Hizballah, and the hampering of Ebola vaccine efficacy.