Last year's headlines are fueling this year's business risks, as events ranging from Brexit and the election of Donald Trump to high-profile cyber breaches and unrest in the Middle East contribute to heightened uncertainty among corporate executives.

A survey of 735 board members and executives, including CEOs, CFOs, and chief risk officers, that was conducted last fall by consultancy Protiviti and the North Carolina State University Enterprise Risk Management Initiative found that, overall, the respondents expected to face greater risks in the new year.

"What the participants indicated is that they perceived, looking forward into 2017, a riskier business environment than what participants in our prior-year survey perceived looking forward into 2016," said Jim DeLoach, a managing director at Protiviti.

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