In the 10 years that Accenture has surveyed financial services risk leaders, we’ve seen them respond to complex post-financial crisis regulations, defend against increasingly sophisticated fraud and financial crime attacks, and tackle business-crippling cyber-attacks.
But changes in today’s risk environment are moving with unprecedented speed. New threats are difficult to untangle and address. Accenture’s 2019 Global Risk Management Study finds that, despite a decade of addressing evolving changes, risk leaders face a bar higher than ever.
In a volatile, fast-paced climate, risk managers should have a clear view of the factors they can influence and the assets they should protect. This is their sphere of control.
A relentless pace of complex, interconnected change
Of the risk executives we surveyed, 72 percent say complex, interconnected new risks are emerging faster than ever. Risk leaders cite these top three challenges:
- Disruptive tech risk: Among surveyed risk leaders, 58 percent say disruptive technology risk has a bigger impact today than two years ago.
- Data breaches: 55 percent say data breaches pose a bigger, more complex threat with broader reach.
- Operational risks: 52 percent cite operational risk—a traditional but ever-present threat, as a concern.
How can risk leaders face their leading threats?
Risk managers should keep pace with rapid change. But some of the potential solutions might bring new risks. Others offer more straightforward answers.
For risk leaders, what’s next?
Complex, interconnected risks are multiplying faster than ever. For risk leaders it is impossible to be fully in control in this environment. What can they do?
We recommend clearly defining factors within the risk function’s control and designating assets that should be protected. This is a risk leader’s sphere of control. Leaders who define their sphere are better prepared to anticipate, assess and mitigate new threats—and should be ready when risk strikes.