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Prepare for emerging threats in 2024: Strategies for enabling business continuity
2022 Threat Intelligence

Evaluating the global risk landscape and creating actionable responses

Businesses hoping to exit 2021 with momentum will face new challenges and evolving threats in 2022. Despite the positive strides taken in 2021, a return to normal business functions has not taken place. Stresses to supply chains, economic instability, social unrest, and health risks set the tone for the year, leaving organizations to assess their risk landscape and regroup in hopes of finding more productive ways to tackle 2022.

2022 Global risk summary

With the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic behind us, other threats have emerged, leaving the world in a period of turbulent transition. According to Control Risks, most of these businesses will face growing risks alone, fending for themselves in a period of increased governance, social unrest, political instability, and cyber threats. Despite the nuances of certain regions, six overarching trends set the stage for the 2022 global risk landscape. As overwhelming as some of these risks may appear, there are several ways to minimize risk and build operational resilience for the growing risk environment.

Top global risks

1. Geopolitical risk

Geopolitical risk can best be defined as risk associated with tensions between states that affect the peaceful course of international relations. Typically, geopolitical risk is characterized by the materialization of new risks threatening normative powers and the escalation of existing risk events directly tied to such delicate international relationships.

One of the most palpable geopolitical conflicts comes from rising tensions between the United States and China. The overall weakening of these two powers amid COVID-19 has left other “soft political” players like Europe to remain a normative power, providing Europe with an opportunity to increase its influence over the rest of the world. Shifts in geopolitics means a possible grand geopolitical repositioning, with countries reconsidering their trade partners and alliances.

Building geopolitical risk resilience

Changes in the geopolitical order raise several questions for national and international organizations looking to secure business. Shifts in state power, international relationships, influence, and priorities, mean possible new challenges in ensuring supply chain resilience, growth, and sustainability. To best prepare, businesses should pay particular attention to new norms and tensions across multiple regions capable of impacting crucial business processes. With the Everbridge Risk Intelligence Monitoring Center (RIMC), organizations can achieve end-to-end visibility while monitoring and analyzing worldwide events as they shape the geopolitical landscape, dramatically increasing the rate at which organizations can respond to risks that threaten people, assets, and operations.

2. Security risk

Over the last two years, COVID-19 exposed political and social instability while highlighting the growing rate of state fragility. Fragile states are characterized by weak governance, corruption, humanitarian crises, violence, rising social tensions, and loss of territory and control. A total of 178 countries made the list of fragile states in the 2021 Fragile States Index, with instances of security and violence expected to grow proportionally. With new factors putting stress on states, institutions, and societies, businesses should prepare for heightened disruption, potential asset damage and loss, and increased risks.

Building security risk resilience

An increase in disruption in developing and developed states puts businesses at risk, and no organization is truly safe from harm. To build security risk resilience, organizations will have to monitor emerging risks and use scenario methods to examine potential triggers around the clock.

With Everbridge Control Center, organizations can maintain operational control by correlating events from disparate safety and security systems into a single operating picture, ensuring rapid, consistent responses to potential and existing security risks as they unfold. By keeping a watchful eye on developing risks and producing agile responses, organizations can rest easy knowing their people, assets, and operations are safe around the globe.

3. Cyber risk

Cyber risks are here to stay, and nation-states are failing to fend them off. With the absence of red lines and a sharp rise in technological capabilities, the opportunities of a cyberattack have begun to outweigh the cost, creating a spiral of escalating events. A combination of increased aggression by developing and struggling states like Russia, North Korea, and Iran, combined with a lack of enforcement, has created a perfect storm where cyber risk continues to thrive.

With cyber posing a financial and operational risk to businesses and states failing to enforce boundaries, it is up to individual organizations to protect themselves from harm.

Building cyber risk resilience

With cyber risk becoming more relevant and cyberattacks becoming more powerful, failing to combat cyber risk as a business in 2022 may very well mean possible business closure. However, advanced solutions can help alleviate the threat of cyber risk from outside and inside the organization, proactively keeping any instances of cyberattack at bay.

In cyber, technology is everything. In other words, organizations looking to develop cyber risk resilience must adopt the appropriate technology for the risk landscape. Consider SnapComms: With SnapComms, organizations can keep important data safe from cybercriminals by providing essential communication tools to organization staff, improving cybersecurity. With employee error at the heart of organization-wide cyber risk, keeping staff informed on potential cyber threats and hot to avoid them is key to ensuring long-term cyber resiliency.

4. Terror risk

The COVID-19 pandemic caused a surge in mental health crises, creating an increase in terrorism and violent extremism around the globe. In the United States and Europe, anti-government and anti-authority sentiment has grown, causing a resurgence in domestic right-wing extremism. In Afghanistan, the Taliban takeover and COVID-19 pandemic are expected to shape terrorism for years to come.

The presence of online terrorist activity and recruitment has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with border closures, entry restrictions, and enforced curfews, mass attacks and terrorist threats have subsided. While this is good news, that doesn’t mean terrorism is a thing of the past. Instead of disappearing, terrorism is undertaking a period of evolution, where it will adapt to meet the challenges of the post-COVID era.

Building terror risk resilience

With the rising threat of radical right-wing extremism and the Taliban reshaping the terror risk landscape, businesses need to prepare for increased diversity in terrorist ideology and attacks. This rising terror risk is likely to bring new compliance burdens, restrictions, and regulations to businesses across the globe. With location-specific terror threat monitoring becoming outdated in the expanding threat landscape, organizations need fast-acting communications capable of sending push notifications to employees and assets in diverse locations.

With Everbridge Mass Notification, organizations can keep people and assets safe by rapidly connecting with those in harm’s way. By broadcasting to any communication device and channel, public and private sectors can easily notify those at risk and facilitate two-way communication out of a single platform, saving precious time when every second counts.

5. Reputational risks

Around the globe, governments are competing to display leadership in ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) issues. With governments acting fast to remediate ESG related challenges, organizations must quickly follow suit to avoid scrutiny, creating more sustainable, diverse, and safe work environments.

Regions failing to adopt best practices on ESG may experience a loss of investors, causing an economic vulnerability. With ESG becoming increasingly charged and performance metrics on ESGs still under development, governments and organizations have a small window of 36 months to make drastic changes to sustainability, diversity and inclusion, and governance matters. Those who fail, risk losing it all.

Building reputational risk resilience

With governments and organizations likely to be crushed under the weight of ESGs, businesses must work quickly to adapt to new norms at a socially acceptable pace. Failing to incorporate sustainability, diversity or inclusion, or improved governance standards put organizations at risk of public whiplash. With accusations like greenwashing, whitewashing, false advertising, and human rights violations capable of toppling global brands, staying on top of potential risk as soon as they develop is the only way to stay ahead of reputational risk.

The Everbridge Virtual Command Center helps organizations improve situational awareness and risk resilience. With real-time threat intelligence, situational awareness, and integrated response and collaboration, mitigating and eliminating risk comes with ease. When ESG standards move fast and billions of investor dollars are on the line, being behind the eight-ball is something no organization can afford.

6. Operational risk

The biggest operational facing businesses is climate risk. A 2021 report by the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization states that extreme weather events are occurring at a fivefold the rate of weather-related occurrences in the last 50 years.

To make matters worse, a 2021 report by Disclosure Insight Action cites the financial impact of climate threat to the global supply chain at almost $1.3 trillion over the next five years. With climate threats capable of causing destruction and devastation, crippling supply chains, operations, and personnel, organizations must find new ways to combat operational risk before it’s too late.

Building operational risk resilience

For organizations looking to overcome climate threats and operational risks such as supply chain disruption, a culture of prevention and proactivity is needed. With the right culture in place, organizations can begin adopting flexible and agile business solutions capable of adapting to severe operational risks as they evolve.

With multiple factors influencing operational risk, organizations need a risk monitoring solution capable of monitoring, analyzing, and pivoting to address numerous threats with speed and accuracy. The Everbridge Risk Center helps organizations prepare for the worst by delivering comprehensive and configurable risk monitoring, delivering actionable information, and reducing or mitigating risk to operations as they evolve. Since flexibility is at the center of any operational risk resilience strategy, organizations require flexible software capable of executing multiple operational risk maneuvers at once.

The 2022 global risk landscape is diverse and tumultuous. Read here about ways that Everbridge and Control Risks work together to deliver a real-time view of risk data, trends, and forecasts.

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