April 8, 2013 - As companies transform their businesses in order to succeed in a fast-changing global environment, they remain concerned about growing external market risks that can hinder their strategic priorities, according to a new report from consulting firm PwC. One of the key risks is social media, according to the study.

The report, “Global Risk in the Transformation Age," says businesses are taking decisive steps to bolster their risk management techniques to focus on four strategic response categories: resilience, people, technology and next-generation risk analytics.

Based on a survey of more than 800 executives and risk managers in businesses worldwide, the report says more than two-thirds of companies have undergone a major transformation in the past 18 months, and another 10 percent plan to do so over the next 18 to 24 months.

More than 40 percent of the survey respondents say social media is likely to put their organization at risk in the next 18 months. To address growing risks from digital technology and social media, the report says, companies will nearly double their use of audits for intellectual property, brand and reputation over the next 18 months, and take measures to mitigate the risks that are uncovered.

Changes in business direction have exposed companies to new risks, “and the interplay of market and business transformation is creating complex risk linkages that can be fragile and difficult to predict,” Dean Simone, leader of PwC's U.S. Risk Assurance practice. “This complexity requires businesses to rethink their approach by taking a holistic, multifunctional view of managing risk."

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