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9 Risk Themes to Plan for in 2024

2023 is coming on an end. But what risks will the new year bring? For individual organizations, it might be too difficult to quantify.

That’s why we turned to a national security risk assessment to detail the nine risk themes to plan for in 2024.

What does it say? Read on to find out.

The National Risk Register lists nine risk themes

Indeed, governments often use their own, more classified risk assessments to understand the risks that the nation is likely to face. They then relay the risks through summaries like the U.K. National Risk Register (NRR), which came out at the end of this year.

The risks that top the list are those most likely to have a substantial impact on the country’s safety, security, and/or critical systems. They include both non-malicious risks, e.g., accidents or natural hazards, and malicious threats, i.e., those coming from malign actors who seek to do the country, its people, and assets harm.

So, what made the list? The NRR itself includes information about almost 90 risks.

However, these risks fall within the following nine risk themes, many of which organizations should plan for in 2024:

  1. Terrorism
  2. Cyber
  3. State threats
  4. Geographic and diplomatic (e.g., disruption to global oil trade routes)
  5. Accidents and systems failures (e.g., major adult care provider failure, aviation collision, and simultaneous loss of all fixed and mobile forms of communication
  6. Natural and environmental hazards
  7. Human, animal, and plant health
  8. Societal (e.g., public disorder and/or industrial action)
  9. Conflict and instability (e.g., nuclear miscalculation)

Translating these risk themes into a plan for action

With so many themes, it’s right to ask, where should organizations put their focus?

Indeed, certain areas might not have a direct impact on your business. However, the purpose of the National Risk Register itself is to inform organizations what the government considers to be the biggest threats.

From there, organizations can integrate these broad themes into their own risk registers.

How to do so? Well, we advise senior managers across the business, under the stewardship of the security lead, to take a look at these security themes closely. They should be considering how any of these risks, specifically those with the highest threat levels attached to them, will impact their roles.

Questions to ask about a given risk include how is it going to impact resourcing and staff, and how is it going to affect finances?

Remember, that while the risk themes and underlying risks may seem overly broad, they can have a direct impact on your business; and so, risk and security personnel will have to monitor the likelihood of their occurring.

Following from that, organizations will have to consider stakeholders, partners, supply chain, and staffing for each risk they consider of note. For instance, plan for “Cyber attacks on infrastructure” as a macro heading within your security management platform, then drill down to understand what part of that incident would affect your organization directly.

Not sure your security outfit has the capability? Then, a good place to start is assessing your corporate security maturity. Download our Corporate Security Maturity Checklist to learn more.

Download Corporate Security Maturity Checklist