What Keeps Risk Professionals Up at Night? The Cloud.

The most recent version of Gartner’s Emerging Risks Report finds that senior executives in risk management roles say the rapidly increasing reliance on cloud computing is making them nervous.

Cloud computing is reshaping how organizations work, but there’s something about it that makes senior executives focused on risk feel queasy.

The technology, while well established, is at the top of Gartner’s most recent list of emerging business risks, released last month. It outpaced more hot-topic compliance concerns such as GDPR (third place) and the disclosure of cyberattacks (second place).

What’s the issue for folks on the finance, audit, and compliance teams? According to the research firm, they worry about the increased risk of data theft or unauthorized access when vital information is stored offsite.

“Despite the advantages, cloud computing comes with an added vulnerability if data is stored incorrectly or if the provider’s own security is compromised,” said Gartner practice leader Matthew Shinkman, in comments in a company blog post.

Increasingly, data breaches may happen to a second party or third party, but even if so, responsibility typically lies close to home. Gartner found that at least 95 percent of cloud security failures are the fault of the original organization, according to a news release.

Other top emerging risks include a skills gap with robotics and artificial intelligence, changes in the global economy, and inadequate risk assurance, according to the report, based on the responses from 110 senior executives.

It identifies two “high velocity” risks: social engineering and GDPR. “Organizations of all sizes should be wary of these risks with high velocity, as they can cripple your organization rapidly if they were to materialize,” Gartner said [PDF].

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Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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