New Study: 80% of Executives Expect More Digital Risks in 2024

Posted May 13, 2024

Toronto | May 10, 2024 — A new report commissioned by Resolver reveals that top executives are increasingly aware of digital risks, yet they underestimate the severity and potential impact of online harms to people and their brand reputation. The “2024 Reputational Risk Report” shows that more than 80% of executives expect digital threats to increase this year. The report attributes these threats to technology advances, social media trends, and the spread of misinformation. To combat these risks, the report suggests that companies invest in better risk intelligence, conduct social media audits, and train staff to address potential crises.

Key Findings from Resolver’s 2024 Reputational Risk Report

  • Rising digital risks: An alarming 86% of executives agreed that online threats would likely increase in 2024, driven by evolving technology, social media risks, and societal issues.
  • Severity of consequences: 78% of respondents recognized that responding to digital risks too late could harm their brand’s reputation with other consequences, including negative publicity, reduced sales, and diminished employee morale.
  • Increasing reputational crises: The report indicates that more than half of the executives (56%) believe their organizations will face reputational crises in the coming year. This trend aligns with the World Economic Forum’s 2024 Global Risks Report, which identifies false and misleading information as a significant global risk.
  • Mis- and disinformation threats: A significant 66% of executives agreed that mis- and disinformation presented a top risk to their brands. Recent events, such as the Ukraine war and the Israel-Hamas conflict, have heightened awareness of how social media can amplify risks.
  • Social media risks: A majority of respondents agreed that coordinated activity on social media attacks from agenda-driven groups could present significant challenges, with 80% agreeing that these risks would increase in the next 12 months.

“Companies need to be proactive in addressing these risks. Investing in expert risk intelligence to support internal teams is a critical mitigation factor, before, not after the adverse event happens,” said Sarah Stead, VP of Corporate at Resolver.

Stead also highlighted particular threats that executives need to be aware of this year. “2024 is set to be a landmark year with so much to navigate for brands with-political elections, unresolved conflicts, large sporting events, a year that generative AI ‘at work’ becomes a firm reality.”

Recommendations and Insights from Resolver’s 2024 Reputational Risk Report

To mitigate these risks, the report suggests implementing robust risk intelligence solutions and investing in new technologies. Additionally, organizations should consider regular social media audits, early warning systems, and staff training to better manage these evolving threats. Resolver’s Corporate Risk Intelligence team offers a range of services, including Social Media Moderation and Reputation Monitoring, to help brands address these challenges and safeguard their reputation in a digital-first world.

For more information on the report or to download a free copy, click here.

Methodology: Most respondents fall within the Chief Marketing Officer category (54%), followed by Chief Information Officer (27%). The 100 C-suite executives surveyed represent medium to large multinational corporations with 1,000 to 5,000 employees. Respondents are primarily based in the United States (57%) and the United Kingdom (18%), across various industries, including technology, financial services, and consumer goods.

About Resolver: Resolver, a Kroll Business, stands at the forefront of risk intelligence, safeguarding over $6.5 trillion in market cap for more than 1,000 global companies. Leveraging AI with deep human expertise, our innovative Risk Intelligence Platform provides comprehensive visibility into enterprise-wide risks, enabling prioritized, timely, and agile responses. Go beyond tracking and managing risk to transforming complex data into clear insights and highly effective mitigating actions. By harnessing our integrated capabilities, businesses of all sizes can reduce crises, recover swiftly, and emerge stronger — protecting their operations, brand, and bottom line. Discover how we’re shaping a safer, more resilient world. See Risk. Build Resilience.

How brands can prepare for social media risks