Companies should be on the alert for risks and potential emergencies above and beyond concerns over the current Covid-19 pandemic.
That is the assessment of international risk management and assistance expert Healix International.
It has developed a “Global Security Risk Map” which it believes highlights dangers that might fall under the radar of businesses caught up in the pandemic crisis.
Chris Job MBE, director of risk management services at Healix International, said it is “vital” for organisations with an international footprint to ensure that the “myriad of risks beyond the coronavirus”.
Job said: “2021 is likely to be as busy a year for challenging global events, some predictable and some unprecedented.”
An “undefined normal” and a global drive for economic growth means that the need for robust organisational resilience plans is clear, he said.
Job and Healix have published a “security risk map” from which six key themes emerge.
Global risk managers and international health and risk specialists will have different takes on the current situation.
But here are the six key areas highlighted by Healix International:
- Natural Disasters: The increasing frequency of extreme weather events with natural disasters becoming more pronounced both in terms of frequency and severity. Building resilience to natural disasters is a significant exercise.
- Faceless Threats: In a context of increased isolationism, and more time spent online, individuals will become increasingly disconnected from normative community activity with a comparative increase in crime and incidents of violence perpetrated by ‘faceless’ lone actors.
- Supply Chain Disruption: – The highly complex logistical webs that make up the global economy have predominantly been designed with cost and efficiency in mind. Unless resilience starts to be factored into these considerations, disruption to supply chains will remain a significant operational risk factor.
- Cyber Attacks: No longer just an inconvenience, they are potentially calamitous. More worrisome, attacks targeting government infrastructure are on the rise, and any cyber breaches in this space could have unprecedented implications.
- Decay of the ‘social contract’: Mounting frustrations over inequality, cynicism of perceived corrupt political elites, and distrust of wider civil society including the media and big business amid the pandemic of ‘Fake News’ are likely to lead to increased public agitation and worsening levels of political cohesion.
- Erosion of domestic political cohesion fuelled by social media: Complex political issues find themselves being misrepresented in the form of a ‘post’, ‘share’, or ‘tweet’. This dynamic will become more prevalent in 2021 and result in even more social and political divisiveness, with rising levels of political risk in locations where the ‘culture war’ is most pronounced.
Overblown hyperbole and risks – or genuine threats to economic and business resilience and success? Let us at Health & Protection know what you think.
The 2021 Healix International Risk Oracle Report, along with a global security risk map, can be downloaded here.