In the fast-paced world of corporate governance, 2024 looms with unprecedented challenges. As we peer into this future, it’s evident that the previous years’ tumult is but a prelude to a more formidable scenario, where managing a constellation of risks – from ESG and cyber threats to the omnipresence of AI – demands agility, foresight, and an integrated organizational perspective.
Diligent, a GRC SaaS company, recently took a look ahead and outlined seven steps to calmly navigate the challenges.
ESG, no longer a peripheral concern, has cemented its place at the core of corporate risk. With a staggering 155% rise in ESG regulations over the past decade, and the SEC’s looming mandate for sustainability disclosures, organizations are urged to pivot from a reactive to a proactive stance. Verdantix CEO David Metcalfe warns that a piecemeal approach to compliance is a Sisyphean task, advocating instead for a robust ESG framework that capitalizes on existing efforts and paves the way for meeting future regulations efficiently.
Another challenge to overcome is the new rules to cybersecurity. As the SEC introduces stringent cybersecurity disclosure mandates set to take effect in December 2023, the confluence of governance, risk, compliance, and cybersecurity becomes essential. The report highlighted that mitigating cyber risks is a multifaceted endeavour, encompassing everything from employee training to multifactor authentication.
The intertwined risks of cybersecurity, ESG, and compliance necessitate technological solutions, especially as organisations extend their networks to encompass numerous partners and suppliers. A single non-compliant vendor can precipitate a cascade of reputational, legal, and financial repercussions. Traditional tools like spreadsheets, siloed across various departments, are inadequate; only purpose-built technology can provide the comprehensive data analysis required for preemptive risk management.
Board reporting and regulatory frameworks are also growing increasingly complex, propelled by intensifying scrutiny in areas such as climate impact, executive compensation, and capital allocation. The boardroom of 2023 was a mere introduction to what awaits in 2024, where shareholder activism and demands for granular information are poised to become the norm.
As the world transitions into a new era where clarity, efficiency, and innovation are paramount, it’s crucial to consolidate the disparate risk management platforms that currently fragment corporate visibility. The absence of a unified risk platform is itself a vulnerability, one that can no longer be overlooked in today’s intricate business landscape.
AI has transcended its nascent phase to become an integral aspect of strategic planning. Richard Barber, CEO of the Mind Tech Group, asserts that not having an AI framework equates to a significant oversight. AI’s capacity to automate tasks, enhance monitoring, and dissect data surpasses human capabilities, making it an invaluable asset in the arsenal of risk management.
2024 beckons organizations to fortify their risk programs against the backdrop of an evolving threat landscape. Brian Stafford, CEO of Diligent, underscored the importance of aligning risk strategies with corporate purpose during the company’s recent user conference. Such an approach ensures that regardless of fluctuating threats, the company’s mission – to deliver shareholder value – remains the guiding principle.
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