Companies are stepping up investment in IT, digital transformation and cybersecurity even amid warnings of an imminent recession, a recent PwC survey found.

Third Party Risk Management

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The second PwC Pulse Survey of 2022 illustrated that despite a wide range of business risks and mixed economic signals, companies remain focused on growth.

“After more than two years dealing with uncertainty related to the pandemic, business leaders recognize the urgent need to focus on growth to compete, and they’re zeroing in on what they can control,” PwC states.

More than ever, risk is everyone’s business. 

Leaning into Growth Amid Uncertainty

The PwC report, based on a survey of 722 business leaders across various industries and company sizes, identifies several risk factors that are top of mind for executives:

  • Cyber threats
  • Talent acquisition and retention
  • Rising production costs
  • Geopolitical issues

Despite this, the vast majority of business leaders remain optimistic.

“Eighty-three per cent of companies are focusing their business strategy on growth, more than any other objective,” the report states.

The survey suggests that businesses are investing in the tools and infrastructure that help to manage risk and achieve both short and long-term growth.

The top areas of investment include:

  1. Digital transformation (53%)
  2. IT (52%)
  3. Cybersecurity and privacy (49%)

Cyber Threats and Privacy

The survey revealed that “cyber is the no. 1 business risk,” with 78% of respondents citing “more frequent and/or broader cyber attacks” as a risk.

“Cyber threats are no longer solely the domain of the CISO,” the report states.

Seventy-four per cent of businesses reported that they were “enhancing or revising” cyber risk management policies.

And 84% of business leaders surveyed said they were either “monitoring closely” or “taking action” on potential cyber security and privacy regulatory changes.

As a result, the report recommends the following strategies for mitigating cyber security and privacy risks: 

  • Build cyber security and data privacy into agendas across the C-suite and board

  • Increase investment to improve security

  • Educate your employees on effective cyber security practices

  • Use data and intelligence to regularly measure your cyber risks