Many companies have reported being negatively impacted by a cyber attack in the last 12 months, ranging from phishing/social engineering to loss of customer/patient data, intellectual property, and third-party information. Employees have generally become more aware of the threat, and cybersecurity has risen on boards' agendas over the past year. Cybersecurity is becoming a top agenda item for businesses globally, and several large attacks have made headlines in the past year. Additionally, there are plenty of incidents that have not made it into the news and will come to light in the future - as businesses are keen to protect their brand reputation and are therefore prepared to pay large sums to cyber attackers. Across the G20, 25% of C-suite respondents rated a nation-state cyber-attack as a key concern.

Key Findings

  • 26% of German respondents reported they do fully understand the cybersecurity risks posed by third parties.
  • Remote work has caused several issues, the main concern is the leak of sensitive data – affecting 32% of German companies.
  • Only 43% do not expect to have to pay a future data ransom.

25% of German respondents are either experiencing an investigation relating to financial crime and sanctions compliance or expect one in the next 12 months.  To put this into perspective, across the G20, 30% of business leaders are concerned about increasing sanctions, export controls, and tariff increases. Sustainability/ESG practices, use of state aid and government support, tax practices, use of third-party data, and data privacy are amongst the other areas of concern. 29% of legal spending amongst the respondents will be around adapting to new regulations/legislation.

Only 21% of German respondents reported to not expect any areas to be investigated by regulatory/government bodies in the next 12 months.

Key Findings

  • 1 in 4 German companies are either currently experiencing  investigations into their financial crime and sanctions compliance, or expect to experience this in the next year.
  • 61% of German companies expect increased regulatory pressure in relation to cryptocurrencies in the next 12 months (compared to the G20 average of 77%) 
  • 68% of German companies believe a growing number of criminals are exploiting the financial system (compared to the G20 average of 81%)
  • 83% of German respondents believe greater transparency and availability of beneficial ownership information would help their business tackle financial crime

Only 29% strongly agreed that they were spending more resources on ESG and sustainability over the last 12 months, which is in sharp contrast to the 83% across the G20 that have responded to have been spending more resources on the ESG in the last 12 months (40% agreed strongly, 43% agreed slightly). Potentially this could be as Germany is already considered to be one of the world’s most sustainable industrialised nations. Across the G20 respondents, over 30% expect investigations into their ESG and sustainability practices compared to 25% for Germany.

The top areas they expect to be investigated for in the next 12 months are sustainability/ESG practices at 25%, financial crime and sanctions compliance, also at 25%, followed by use of state aid and government support and tax practices, both at 24%. This compares favourably to the legal spend statistics, in which 29% of German respondents chose adapting to new regulations/legislation as their priority, and 21% have selected internal investigations.

Key Findings

  • 18% of German companies expect media scrutiny in relation to fraud and/or financial crime over the next 12 months (compared to a G20 average of 23%) 

This is comparable to the overall G20 respondents. Investors, investor groups, and customers/clients all play a significant role in influencing the strategic direction of businesses. As ESG becomes top of the agenda for these groups, it will ultimately influence the direction of companies. To stay reputable, competitive, and secure funding, it is a must to comply with sustainable investment strategies.

of German respondents believe they fall short on an integrated sustainability strategy

believe their vulnerability is around a defined climate action plan.

Increasing profits and turnover is on top of the agenda for G20 respondents overall, followed by integrating technology/innovation at 44%. In contrast, only 29% of respondents based in Germany reported pressure to integrate technology and innovate, whilst increasing profits is on top of the agenda globally, with 51% of G20 respondents and 48% of German respondents prioritising this overall.


of German respondents see Integrated technology/innovation as a priority


of G20 respondents see Integrated technology/innovation as a priority

German Highlights

A focused analysis of the German results compared to the G20. Looking at:

  • Disruption of business models
  • German businesses approach to innovation
  • Priorities for 2022
  • Employment 
  • Government support
  • Business transformation and restructuring
  • ESG & Stakeholders


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