Businesses still fear online attacks

Businesses still fear online attacks
Businesses still fear online attacks

Zurich (awp) – Depending on the sector of activity, the most significant risks for Swiss companies appear in the form of internet attacks and energy crises.

Nearly half of the companies surveyed “believe that their existence would be compromised in the event of a major shock, for example a cyberattack”, according to the UBS Outlook Switzerland report for the second quarter of 2024, published on Tuesday. However, this figure falls to 40% among large companies, their size and diversification allowing them to absorb larger shocks.

The survey of around 2,500 representatives of Swiss companies shows that in industry, more than half say they are facing increasingly sudden and serious challenges. At the sample level, the figures are approximately 45% for frequency and 35% for intensity.

More than two thirds believe that cybercrime carries the potential for substantial damage, particularly in services. In the event of a pandemic, the potential for damage is seen as greater in the arts, hospitality and education sectors, already battered during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The feeling of vulnerability is also more significant within microenterprises. If 13% of these establishments surveyed have been victims of a cyberattack in the last five years, 41% consider it very likely that they will be the target in the next three years.

Energy, scrutinized by the industry

As for energy shortages and supply chain failures, less than half of companies attribute significant potential damage to them. That said, almost 60% of industries strongly fear energy shortages and around 65% supply problems.

The preferred measures mainly involve reducing their energy consumption. Producing their own energy, modifying their energy mix or reshuffling their offer are much less popular options.

In the labor-intensive sectors of health, construction and hotels and restaurants, the availability of employees is the main concern. Financial hazards – for example exchange rate fluctuations – are of particular concern to restaurateurs and manufacturers. As for the increase in environmental regulations or the emergence of new technologies, these factors are perceived as sources of opportunities rather than substantial threats, underlines UBS.

The big bank points to “five global trends” that Swiss companies must keep in mind. “Deglobalization”, but also geopolitical crises, are putting companies’ supply chains to the test. the aging of the population, considered “the main cause of the lack of labor”. “Digitalization”, which is both an opportunity and a challenge, or “decarbonization”, which makes it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but “increases the risk of energy shortages during the phase of transition”.

More than 60% of respondents are companies with fewer than 10 employees and 30% with 10 to 49 employees. Around 13% of them are active in industry, 8% in the construction and community services sector and 79% in services.

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