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Cyber risks are transport industry's biggest concern


The increased security threat from cyber and data privacy breaches is the number one risk on the minds of executives in the transportation industry.

Willis Towers Watson's 2016 Transportation Risk Index, which includes the opinions of 110 CEOs and 80 CFOs, revealed that the biggest individual threat across all modes of transport is the potential for cyber and data privacy breaches.

The repondents saw data breeches as the biggest threat to the industry and were most concenerned about third party suppliers being vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The findings of the Index show that as supply chains become more connected and reliant on technology, a business' response plans and preparedness are just as important as risk mitigation strategies.

"The transportation world is rapidly evolving, so risk strategies need to be responsive and dynamic," said Mark Hue Williams, head of transportation industry for WTW.

"Regulation and technological advances are demanding new operating models while, simultaneously, hostile actors are mounting attacks to take advantage of the industry's strategic role in the global economy."

The Index was commissioned to measure the industry's current risk environment as seen through the eyes of 350 of its senior executives from the air, land and sea sectors.

The executives saw Geopolitical instability and regulatory uncertainty as the highest-rated category of risk, highlighting the impact of world events on operations and corporate profitability.

The Index shows that actions of government and regulators and the judiciary were found to have a similar potential to be disruptive.

"All of this is set against unstable geopolitical and economic backdrops and growing demand for new skills in the workplace," said Williams.

"Knowing how these shifting forces should shape your risk strategy is critically important, and a great opportunity for those who lead the response."

Other risk concerns mentioned in the index were talent management and the complexities of a global workforce and the risks associated with changing market dynamics and business model insecurity.

"Understanding your risks and knowing how to respond provides a competitive advantage, which is why we believe risk is a path to growth," said Hue Williams. "We commissioned this Index to help our clients unlock potential."

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