Cyber and AI are top compliance concerns

Cyber security risk and artificial intelligence (AI) are amongst the top business concerns of compliance and procurement professionals, according to new research.

A ComRes poll of 630 compliance and procurement professionals for data insights firm Dun & Bradstreet found that respondents were increasingly less confident of their ability to manage third party relationships.

Although cyber security was the number one concern for respondents, almost half (48 per cent) do not yet incorporate in their third party risk management. Half of this group of respondents had developed an approach to cyber risk, but have been slow to implement it.

Compliance with laws and regulations remained a top priority, with 84 per cent of respondents forecasting a decline in the future effectiveness of compliance and procurement.

Respondents from smaller firms continue to be less confident about managing third party risks than those from larger organisations.

Confidence levels in both current and future compliance and procurement effectiveness were lower among businesses with less than 50 employees at 79 per cent, compared to 92 per cent in larger organisations of 251-1000 employees.

However, the survey revealed that emerging technologies were working their way up the agenda.

Over half (53 per cent) of respondents agreed that AI will improve efficiencies and enhance insight within their compliance and procurement functions. However, 45 per cent were not confident they had the right skills in place to make full use of AI in the coming year, suggesting that additional training and focus on talent development is required.

Respondents in the financial services (60 per cent) and retail (55 per cent) sectors saw the most potential benefit from AI for improved risk and fraud detection.

However, 56 per cent of government agencies and 47 per cent in manufacturing believe that data gathering and validation will benefit the most from Artificial Intelligence.

Brian Alster, general manager of third-party risk and compliance at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “Third party risk management and compliance programs can’t remain stagnant. As technology changes and the amount of data companies are expected to manage when mitigating risk increases, procurement and compliance professionals need to drive greater efficiencies within their programs.”

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