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article imageBusiness leaders remain concerned about cyber threats

By Tim Sandle     Feb 25, 2018 in Business
A new survey of C-level business leaders from PwC reveals what keeps them up at night. This includes cyber threats, economic uncertainty and an inability to deal with digital disruption.
The key uncertainties that business leaders face comes from a survey conducted by analysts PwC. The report looks at the views of C-level business leaders. The poll, called the "21st CEO Survey", considers what business leaders see as the emerging threats that are likely to affect their companies over the next five years.
The top five concerns facing business leaders in 2018 are:
1. Over-regulation
2. Terrorism
3. Geopolitical uncertainty
4. Cyber threats
5. Availability of key digital skills
Here there has been a movement compared with a similar poll conducted in 2017. Here the top five issues were:
1. Over-regulation
2. Uncertain economic growth
3. Exchange rate volatility
4. Availability of key skills
5. Geopolitical uncertainty
What the changes between 2017 and 2018 reveal is the rise in worries about terrorism and concerns about cyber threats. Moreover, with concerns over skills, it is the digital skills gap that raises the most issues. These issues rate higher than changing consumer behavior or new market entrants.
There are geographical differences with the list. For North America, which has a more deregulated business environment than within the European Union, cyber threats tops the list, being cited by 53 percent of business leaders.in Europe the rise of populist political movements, mostly led by right-wing parties, comes top. In contrast, Asia-Pacific chief executives cite availability of key skills (52 percent of the poll). In regions where emerging economies are dominant, like Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe ‘social instability’ is a the top 10 factor, no matter which country was surveyed.
The overall and most consistent factor across all regions, and the faster rising, is cyber threats. Here the major issues include Internet of Things vulnerability; e-mail scams; and employees being unaware of what constitutes a cyber threat.
The survey also revealed that business leaders were concerned about a technological skills gap in workforces and with the prospective applicants within the current jobs market. Part of the strategy is to expand the number of apprenticeships on offer, as the Digital Journal companion article "Why Businesses need to assess impact of Industry 4.0" explains.
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