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National Risk Register 2023


In an ever-changing world fraught with diverse challenges, it’s vital for nations to understand and prepare for the risks they face. For the United Kingdom, this preparedness comes in the form of the UK National Risk Register 2023 (NRR), a comprehensive assessment of the most serious risks confronting the country. In this article, we will delve into the National Risk Register 2023, its key components, and how it impacts businesses of various types.

The NRR is essentially the UK government’s playbook for risk assessment and management. It serves as the external version of the National Security Risk Assessment (NSRA), providing a clear picture of the threats and challenges the UK may encounter. These risks encompass a wide spectrum, including threats to lives, public health, society, critical infrastructure, economy, and national sovereignty.

Organised into nine risk themes, the NRR covers everything from terrorism and cybersecurity to natural disasters, health crises, societal challenges, and geopolitical instability. It employs a rigorous methodology to assess the likelihood and impact of each risk, emphasising a “reasonable worst-case scenario” to ensure effective planning for emergency responses.

The NRR plays a pivotal role in shaping the UK’s resilience against acute risks, which are sudden and discrete events necessitating immediate emergency responses. While it offers an in-depth analysis of these acute risks, it no longer includes chronic risks that evolve over the long term, such as climate change or antimicrobial resistance. These chronic risks require a different approach and are managed through ongoing policy and operational measures.

The National Risk Register 2023 was updated on the 3rd of August 2023 and applies exclusively to the United Kingdom.

national risk register

Does the National Risk Register 2023 affect my business?

Understanding the NRR is crucial for businesses across various sectors, as it directly affects their operational continuity, risk mitigation strategies, and long-term planning. Here’s a breakdown of how the NRR impacts businesses:

  • Risk Awareness: Businesses need to be aware of the specific risks outlined in the NRR that may impact their operations. These risks can range from cyberattacks to natural disasters, and understanding them is the first step in developing robust risk management strategies.
  • Preparedness and Resilience: The NRR’s emphasis on reasonable worst-case scenarios serves as a wake-up call for businesses to prepare for the unexpected. It highlights the need for comprehensive emergency response plans, redundant systems, and supply chain resilience to ensure business continuity in the face of acute risks.
  • Regulatory Compliance Understanding the NRR can help businesses stay in compliance with government regulations related to risk management. Authorities may require certain risk mitigation measures for specific sectors, and businesses must be prepared to meet these standards.

The National Risk Register 2023 is more than just a government document; it’s a vital resource for businesses to navigate the complex landscape of risks in the modern world. By studying the NRR, organisations can enhance their risk awareness, improve preparedness, and ensure resilience in the face of unforeseen challenges. It’s a powerful tool that empowers businesses to proactively address risks, protect their operations, and contribute to the overall resilience of the United Kingdom.

Do I need the National Risk Register in my ISO Compliance Register?

Different industries face unique risks outlined in the NRR, and it is therefore important to include it in your ISO Compliance Register. Industries that may face higher levels of risks include:

  • Critical Infrastructure: Industries like energy, transportation, and telecommunications are deemed critical infrastructure. The NRR emphasises the importance of protecting these sectors from various threats, including cyberattacks and system failures.
  • Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals: Businesses in these sectors must closely monitor health-related risks and pandemics. The NRR underscores the significance of preparedness and agile responses in these areas.
  • Financial Services: The NRR acknowledges the potential for technological failures in financial systems. This underscores the importance of robust cybersecurity measures for banks and financial institutions.
  • International Business: For companies engaged in international trade and operations, the NRR recognises the impact of geopolitical instability and global risks. This reinforces the need for businesses to diversify their operations and supply chains to mitigate potential disruptions.


If you are operating an ISO 22301 Business Continuity Management System, or an ISO 27001 Information Security System, it is crucial that you stay up to date with the latest risks. Periodically checking the UK National Risk Register will help you maintain your internal risk register.

As such, the National Risk Register is a resource that you could include as one of your Compliance Obligations, and therefore need to stay aligned to it. By maintaining this in your ISO Compliance Register tool, you will save time looking for the latest changes and updates that are issued, allowing you to get on with the work of managing your business.


Legislation related to the National Risk Register 2023

Legislation related to the National Risk Register 2023 include:

  • Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001
  • National Security Ac t 2023
  • National Security and Investment Act 2021

More information

Visit the National Risk Register 2023 article on the website.

Create an account in the ISO Compliance Register App and add this article to your Register.