Global companies lost a combined $1 trillion in revenue in 2022 due to physical security incidents, and economic unrest is expected to be the greatest security-impacting hazard in the next 12 months, a significant increase on the prior year.
That’s according to Allied Universal’s new World Security Report, a comprehensive study that surveyed 1,775 chief security officers (CSOs) in 30 countries. The respondents were from large, global companies representing a combined annual revenue of more than $20 trillion in 2022.
The report covers top issues, including security threats and incidents, budgets, and industry predictions.
Steve Jones, Allied Universal’s global chairman and CEO, said the study “comes at a time when organizations across the globe are increasingly navigating more complex security hazards and threats. The research shows the impact of security threats on organizations is multidimensional—from the disruption of productivity to the loss of customers, to the potentially staggering financial impact.”
Security Threats and Incidents
- Economic unrest was reported by 47% of respondents as the greatest security-impacting hazard in the next 12 months—up from 39% in the previous year.
- Climate change events are on the rise and the second most concerning hazard, with 38% of CSOs saying they may be impacted in the next year. This was followed by social unrest (35%), disruption to energy supplies (33%), and war or political instability (32%).
- Leaking of sensitive information is expected to be the biggest internal threat in the next 12 months, according to 36% of respondents.
- Misuse of company resources or data was the most common internal incident, with 35% of companies having experienced this already over the last 12 months.
- Fraud is expected to be the biggest external threat in the next year, predicted by 25% of CSOs.
- Fraud, phishing, and social engineering were the most common external security incidents experienced in the last 12 months (23%).
- The threat from two groups—”subversives, hackers, protestors, or spies” and “economic criminals”—are likely to soar, with 50% and 49% of respondents predicting they will be impacted by these groups, both up from 39% in the last year.
- One in four (25%) companies reported a drop in their corporate value following an external or internal security incident during the last 12 months.
- Security budgets represented approximately $660 billion (3.3%) of global revenue at respondent companies in 2022.
- Physical security budgets at 46% of respondent companies are set to significantly increase in the next 12 months.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) is top of the agenda for future physical security technology investment, with 42% intending to invest in AI and AI-powered surveillance over the next five years.
The Future of Security
- Cyber threats that threaten physical security systems are challenging to operations, according to nine out of 10 respondents.
- CSOs reported a disconnect between physical security incidents and the importance placed on them at board level; nine in 10 CSOs said company leaders are more concerned about cybersecurity than physical security.
- Eight in 10 (84%) said recruitment of security professionals will be challenging over the next five years.
- Nine in 10 (92%) said people skills are more important than physical attributes of strength in front-line security professionals.
The full report is available here.