The Chartered IIA’s Risk in Focus 2020 report published in September found that the top 10 risks reported by Chief Internal Auditors in Europe were:
Cybersecurity and data security – 78%
Regulatory change and compliance – 59%
Digitalisation, disruptive technology and other innovation – 58%
Outsourcing, supply chains and third-party risk – 36%
Business continuity/resilience – 31%
Financial risks – 30%
Macroeconomic and political uncertainty – 29%
Human resources – 27%
Corporate governance and reporting – 26%
Communications and reputation – 22%
528 Chief Internal Auditors (125 from the UK and Ireland) undertook the survey between March and May 2019. Risk in Focus 2020 contains guidance for organisations about tackling the major issues they face. The report recommends a number of ways that businesses can increase protection against cyber threats such as:
Assessing how their customer service chatbots are protected against breachs
Recruiting an internal or external cybersecurity expert to minimise corporate risks
Reviewing the security of their cloud services – including ensuring robust systems and processes are in place to prevent misconfigurations.
On the increasing burden of regulatory changes resulting from the introduction of GDPR and new legal frameworks for online payments, the report advises businesses to consider whether they are taking a sufficient forward-looking approach to regulatory changes. eg. a regulatory implementation calendar.
It also focusses on digitalisation and advances in technology such as AI and blockchain. The report includes guidance for businesses to consider whether they have sufficient capacity and capabilities to innovate and if projects are sufficiently controlled and appropriately measured.
ACCA UK’s Internal Audit Network ran a series of four webinars on crypto currencies and blockchain for internal auditors in April which are now available on demand. Speakers included Professor Michael Mainelli of Z/Yen Group, Rodney Prescott of PwC and independent consultant Matthew Leitch and they cover these topics:
Introduction to blockchain
Smart ledgers and security
Immutability – a key blockchain and crypto feature
The reality of cryptocurrencies and their audit implications.
Each webinar provides one unit of verifiable CPD where it is relevant to your work. You can register for any or all of these on demand webinars here.