The 2018 Allianz Risk Barometer report has reveals that cyber incidents remain a top threat with 38% of Iresponses for a third year in a row for South African businesses. Business Interruption (BI) second at 34%, and changes in legislation & regulation is in third place at 29%. These are the key findings of the seventh Allianz Risk Barometer, which was published on 16 January 2018 by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). The 2018 report is based on the insight of a record 1,911 risk experts from 80 countries.

Multiple threats such as data breaches, network liability, hacker attacks or cyber BI, ensure it is the top business risk in South African, as well as 10 other surveyed countries including the Americas region. It was number 2 in the Europe and Asia Pacific regions. It also ranks as the most underestimated risk and the major long-term peril.

Cyber incidents through events such as WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks brought significant financial losses to a large number of businesses. South African businesses were not left unscathed.

In October last year, more than 30 million South Africans’ personal information was exposed online in what is considered country’s biggest data breach. The potential for so-called “cyber hurricane” events to occur, where hackers disrupt larger numbers of companies by targeting common infrastructure dependencies, will continue to grow in 2018.

The report unveils two new South African business threats that have emerged as part of the top 10 list, which are climate change or increasing volatility of weather and loss of reputation or brand value, both at 16% occupying the number 8 slot. These new threats are not surprising, especially given the extreme weather patterns that have resulted in frequent droughts and floods affecting the country.

Market developments as a threat has slightly declined to fourth place at 23% from number 3 in 2017 regardless of prevailing political uncertainly and a difficult business environment. Fire, explosion and new technologies are in sixth place and are both at 19% proving this is still a concern as South Africa was plagued with incidents of large fires at Durban Harbour, Braampark and Knysna. Macroeconomic developments (13% of responses) slid seven places to number 10 on the list.