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IIA report looks at 2021 risk landscape; identifies business continuity gap between board and C-suite

The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) has published ‘OnRisk: A Guide to Understanding, Aligning, and Optimizing Risk 2021’ which examines the views of those who most directly involved in risk management – boards, executive management, and internal audit.

A combination of quantitative and qualitative research provided a robust look at 11 top risks facing organizations.

Key highlights include:

  • 87 percent of board members ranked business continuity and crisis management as highly or extremely relevant. However, far fewer members (63 percent) of the C-suite identified it similarly.
  • COVID-19's existential threat to organizations combined with the extreme measures taken to cope with the virus has created new cyber vulnerabilities. For example, the newly ubiquitous work-from-home environment introduced the monumental task of enforcing cyber-safety protocols for entire offsite workforces. The perceived relevance and urgency of cyber-related risks was heightened further by changes to operations, mitigating the vulnerabilities of popular communications software, managing customer and vendor relationships strictly online, and internal audit's inability to perform on-site visits.
  • Board and C-suites respondents rated their level of personal knowledge lowest when it came to cyber security. That may reflect continued uncertainty about a risk that is constantly evolving.
  • All respondents rated disruptive innovation and talent management as among the most relevant risks. Yet, C-suite respondents ranked their personal knowledge and the organization's capabilities related to those risks as among the lowest.

Obtain the report.

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Business continuity?

Business continuity can be defined as 'the processes, procedures, decisions and activities to ensure that an organization can continue to function through an operational interruption'. Read more about the basics of business continuity here.

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