Many CEOs Unprepared for Physical Threats

Morgan O'Rourke


June 1, 2023

physical risks are on the rise worldwide

Physical threats to businesses around the world increased significantly in three key risk categories in 2022, according to data from OnSolve’s 2023 Global Risk Impact Report. In the United States alone, infrastructure and technology failures rose by 807%, transportation accidents increased by 296% and extreme weather events were up 42% from 2021 to 2022. In fact, up to 10 physical threats can occur every minute.

Despite this shifting risk landscape, 60% of CEOs surveyed said they have no plan to address all of these threats—for example, only 37% said they have a plan for extreme weather, 29% have a plan for infrastructure failure and 25% have a plan to handle transportation accidents.

These threats can have severe consequences for an organization’s operations, supply chain and market ecosystem. As a result, CEOs are facing increased pressure from boards to get more involved in addressing physical threats.

“To better protect people and remain competitive, C-suite teams must lead the dialogue and be proactive in mitigating these physical threats,” said OnSolve CEO Mark Herrington. “In the same way senior leaders were involved in building cybersecurity strategies and responding to the pandemic, executive leaders must be more involved in developing a strategy supported by sufficient resources for crisis mitigation.” 

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)