TMT Executives Identify Pandemic Policies, Cyber Threats and Data Privacy Among Top Risk Issues for 2021 and Beyond

Gordon Tucker, Managing Director Global Leader, Technology, Media and Telecommunications Industry Practice

Even with COVID-19 cases plummeting and vaccinations ramping up, many organizations worry about aggressive actions by the government to stem the virus and its new variants. Operational challenges posed by the lingering impacts of the pandemic remains a top concern identified by technology, media and telecommunications (TMT) industry group directors and executives in the ninth annual top risk survey conducted by Protiviti and NC State University’s ERM Initiative. Managing the lingering effects of the pandemic and positioning them in the rear-view mirror is a priority to these leaders.

TMT companies, despite record-strong growth and profits during the pandemic, are not immune to the risk drivers that are creating significant business challenges and uncertainties. Leaders need to be vigilant in scanning the horizon for emerging issues and focus on building trust-based and resilient cultures that can pivot at the speed of change.

Other top risk concerns among TMT leaders include the rapid adoption of digital technologies, data privacy and information security, cyber threats, and diminished economic activity. On the digital technology front, technology executives identified as a top risk issue their ability to support the strong demand for digital services given the current shortage of skilled workers. Also, cyber threats continue to rate as a significant concern with survey respondents, indicating they may be insufficiently prepared to manage potential cyberattacks.

With more people working remotely, shopping online, streaming videos and sharing personal data online, ensuring that their organizations have adequate resources to provide privacy/identity management and information security protection is another major risk issue for TMT leaders. To develop a comprehensive data privacy program, organizations should consider conducting a data privacy risk assessment to identify weaknesses in compliance and protection efforts; establish a baseline to capture the totality of their privacy commitments to customers; ensure that data privacy is a strategic priority for their business and that a culture of compliance around data privacy is established; and maintain clearly verifiable and readily accessible documentation of data privacy plans and processes to avoid program management challenges.

For more insights and survey results for the TMT industry group, read our executive summary.

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