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Middle East companies most likely to say they won’t experience any external security threats next year 

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More companies in the Middle East than anywhere else in the World, and on par with Europe, say they don’t expect to experience any external threats next year.

That’s according to the first-ever World Security Report published by G4S. 1,775 Chief Security Officers (CSOs) in 30 countries at large, global companies with total revenue of more than $20 trillion, took part in the research. 235 CSOs were surveyed in the Middle East from the UAE, KSA, Egypt, and Jordan.

More than one in ten CSOs, at 13%, in the Middle East say they don’t expect their company will experience any external threats next year compared with the global average of 8%. In Jordan, 22% of CSOs said this. Jordan also has the fewest numbers of CSOs at 14% who don’t expect to experience any internal security threats next year compared with a global average of 8%. 

Economic unrest is expected to be the most concerning security-impacting hazard in the world. Comparatively the Middle East is likely to be far less impacted than other regions by this hazard.

The least expected internal threats next year for the region are violence against other employees and sabotage. The least expected external threat is kidnap or attempted kidnap, with Egypt expecting the lowest rate. On the global top five most expected internal threats anticipated, the Middle East is at or below the global average on all.

Last year, the least experienced internal threat in the region was malicious damage to company property at 21%, with just 8% of CSOs in Egypt saying they’d been impacted. In comparison the global average was 26%. 

One of the least experienced external threats across the region last year, at 17%, was theft of company physical property. Again, Egypt recorded the lowest regional rate, with only 7% of CSOs there being impacted. The global average, meanwhile, was 22%. 

The Middle East looks set to avoid the worst of other concerns that dominate the global business agenda, particularly around staffing. Only 68% of CSOs in the region say recruitment of security professionals is challenging versus the global average of 85%. Egypt has the lowest number of CSOs who say this at 51%. 

Companies in the Middle East also appear to be adapting better to technology changes in their security operations. For example, 72% say the use of technology or integrated security is challenging compared with the global average of 85%. The lowest country in the region to say this is Saudi Arabia at 52%.

Additionally, fewer CSOs say the use of AI or data-driven risk management is challenging compared with the global average. Saudi Arabia is also the lowest country in the Middle East to say this. 

“Many countries in the Middle East are undergoing an economic transformation as their governments move away from oil and push to make their economies some of the biggest in the World. This report highlights the favourable operating conditions for businesses in the Middle East, with the security outlook looking better than elsewhere against many measures. However, security leaders in the region will not be taking anything for granted and will still be primed to navigate any uncertainty or complexities that come their way.” 

Ashley Almanza, Executive Chairman of G4S, Allied Universal’s international business, said: “Global businesses are facing increased security threats; a tight labour market globally; and rapidly changing technology that presents new risks and requires different skills. In addition, executive boards are grappling with balancing physical and cybersecurity alongside other priorities. The World Security Report helps our entire industry and the wider business community better understand and operate in the challenging, global and fast-moving security landscape.” 

About the 2023 World Security Report 

This landmark research is an independent, anonymous survey of 1,775 chief security officers (CSOs), or those in equivalent roles, from large, global companies in 30 countries, with a combined annual revenue of more than $20 trillion in 2022, representing a quarter of the world’s total Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Download the press release in a PDF file here. (PDF 475.2 KB)