True to expectations, Covid-19 pandemic is still the biggest concern for businesses globally in 2021. This was contained in the 10th Allianz Risk Barometer in a study carried out by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), by collecting the opinions of 2,769 respondents (CEOs, brokers, industry trade organizations, risk consultants, senior managers and claims experts) in 92 countries. Globally the biggest risks perceived are business interruption, the pandemic, and cyber incidents.

In the 10 years that the Allianz Risk Barometer has been published, the risk of a pandemic has never surpassed the 16th position in the ranking, yet in the wake of 2020, the health risk now ranks number one in 16 countries and holds the position of one of the top three concerns in the majority of countries surveyed.

Joerg Weber, CEO of Allianz Maroc, speaking to Moroccan newspaper Aujourd’hui Le Maroc, said that these figures reflect “the degree of apprehension in the face of the continuation of restrictive measures linked to Covid-19 in 2021.”

Other emerging risks that businesses will face in 2021 can also be seen as consequences of the pandemic. Market developments, business interruption, cyber incidents, as well as macroeconomic developments, are all high priority concerns for Moroccan businesses and are all exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic. Although cyber incidents occupy third place in the world ranking, and fifth in Morocco, they remain a significant risk as businesses turn to e-commerce while lockdowns and curfews sweep the globe. This is especially true for countries where COVID-19 has been a catalyst for digitalization.

According to the Allianz Risk Barometer, speaking of cyber security, data breaches rank as the top concern for companies across the world, closely followed by IT vulnerability due to increased remote working as well as ransomware attacks, which have grown both in frequency and severity.

Joachim Muller, the CEO of AGCS wrote that “the Allianz Risk Barometer 2021 is clearly dominated by the Covid-19 trio of risks. Business interruption, pandemic and cyber are strongly interlinked, demonstrating the growing vulnerabilities of our highly globalized and connected world.”

While the world makes cautious strides in containing the pandemic, the consequences are likely still to be seen for time to come. AGCS point to the fact that business interruption risks will still be a likely reality, and that the accelerated push to digitalization that has come with the pandemic will also likely bring new risks.

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