From economic uncertainties to the competition to terrorist and cyber attacks, CEOs have a lot to worry about these days. According to nearly 1,300 CEOs surveyed recently by PricewaterhouseCoopers, certain threats prompt more anxious thoughts than others. Forty percent worldwide were “extremely concerned” about cyber threats, nearly the same at 41% expressed extreme concern about terrorism. The terrorism concern has spiked over last year, when it wasn’t considered in the top 10 worries for an organization’s growth prospects.
Concern for these issues also varies based on geography. In North American, 53% of CEO’s view cyber threats as a top concern, with Western Europe at 33% and Asia at 44%. Their worries about cyber and terror attacks, particularly in North America, have become greater than their concerns about taxes. Given the significant increase in both cyber and terror attacks just last year alone, the rise in worry is understandable. New on this year’s list is climate change. CEOs in the Middle East and Africa also worry about geo-politicial unrest and social instability respectively. CEOs in Asia were noted as worrying about everything.
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There are indeed plenty of areas to garner concern if not outright anxiety around the globe, and CEOs have no control over many of these concerns. But while the area of cybersecurity may feel as out of control as much as any other, this area has the potential for more intentional actions. CEOs can choose security solutions most equipped to combat today’s advanced threats, and choosing vendors capable of providing game changing approaches to security can transform worry to confidence. Which can also help improve the chances of a good night’s sleep – in this one area of worry at least.