Data from a small survey suggests that any such divide is itself a ‘people risk’ that degrades risk preparedness and management

In a recent survey of 2,594 HR and risk management professionals in 25 countries (626 in China, India, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore) to capture respondents’ attitudes towards “the greatest people risks facing organizations and the challenges mitigating these risks”, the most cited factors in Asia were cybersecurity and data privacy.

In that regard, the report cited 48% of respondents in the six Asian countries indicating they had “effective policies, controls and systems in place to manage their cyber and data risks”, while 45% indicated ‘a lack of skills to understand this risk has been a barrier’.

In terms of the impact of digital skills on cybersecurity and the fact that many data breaches can be attributed to human error, the numbers showed that nearly three-in-10respondents were not dealing with the risk of skills obsolescence. Also:

  • Less than 45% of respondents indicated they were effectively utilizing digital software to automate benefits administration.
  • Disparities were noted in how human resource and risk managers in the survey viewed the threats related to cybersecurity and protection of data privacy. Risk professionals saw skill obsolescence as a more serious threat compared to HR professionals. The respondents also had different perspectives in how they prioritized the risks of automation and AI adoption in Asia, ranking it #5 and #10 respectively. HR technology obsolescence was ranked higher by HR (#7) than risk managers (#11).
  • Other top risks cited by respondents included recurring pandemics/communicable diseases, and administration and fiduciary risks.

The report by Mercer Marsh Benefits made the following recommendations to its target audience:

  1. Constantly update leaders with data and analytics from HR and risk managers regarding threats, so that informed decisions are always made
  2. Align HR’s and risk managers’ views of risks with overall organizational goals so that they are working toward the same objectives
  3. Explore better ways of collaborating, sharing and maximizing people risk resources. As all people risks are interconnected, they need to be addressed holistically rather than departmentally