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Cyber Risk & Other Worries that Keep You Up at Night

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, March 13, 2018

We worry a lot as people. Corporations and corporate leaders worry, too. A couple of recent surveys show those worries in real numbers. A survey of 1,300 senior executives by Marsh and Microsoft came to some chilling conclusions about cyber-attacks.

  66% said they rank cyber security in their top 5 risk management priorities

  Just 19% said they feel highly confident in their ability to prevent and respond to an attack

  Execs with companies with $1 billion in revenue annually said an attack could rack up a bill of $50 million

  Just 30% of those executives say they have a plan in place to prevent such an attack

 

John Drzik who heads Global Risk and Digital for Marsh found that news shocking. He says these attacks aren’t a matter of if anymore. They are a matter of when. 

“Cyber risk is an escalating management priority as the use of technology in business increases and the threat environment gets more complex, It’s time for organizations to adopt a more comprehensive approach to cyber resilience, which engages the full executive team and spans risk prevention, response, mitigation and transfer,” he said.

The World Economic Forum’s (WEF) 2018 Global Risks Report also worries about cyber-attacks. It ranks among the top risks of 1,000 business, government and civil society leaders polled. Most of the worries boil down to concerns of an ever-evolving deterioration of the structure of society and some of that is being engineered by cyber-attacks.

In its news release on the poll, the WEF said, “Humanity has become remarkably adept at understanding how to mitigate conventional risks that can be relatively easily isolated and managed with standard risk management approaches. But we are much less competent when it comes to dealing with complex risks in the interconnected systems that underpin our world, such as organizations, economies, societies and the environment. There are signs of strain in many of these systems: our accelerating pace of change is testing the absorptive capacities of institutions, communities and individuals.”

For the second year in a row extreme weather was the biggest worry but cyber security risks jumped to third. That’s up from last year’s sixth place. That caused Drzik to note, “Geopolitical friction is contributing to a surge in the scale and sophistication of cyberattacks. At the same time, cyber exposure is growing as firms are becoming more dependent on technology. While cyberrisk management is improving, business and government need to invest far more in resilience efforts if we are to prevent the same bulging ‘protection’ gap between economic and insured losses that we see for natural catastrophes.”

Aon Benfield’s newest Cyber Threat Insights report agrees with Drzik and Marsh. Its big concern is cyber extortion. Ransomeware attacks accounted for over 50% of malicious message traffic and malware in 2017.

Here is the WEF’s worry list.

 

Top 10 Global Risks in Terms of Likelihood

1. Extreme weather events

2. Natural disasters

3. Cyberattacks

4. Data fraud or theft

5. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation

6. Large-scale involuntary migration

7. Man-made environmental disasters

8. Terrorist attacks

9. Illicit trade

10. Asset bubbles in a major economy

 

Top 10 Global Risks in Terms of Impact

1. Weapons of mass destruction

2. Extreme weather events

3. Natural disasters

4. Failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation

5. Water crises

6. Cyber attacks

7. Food crises

8. Biodiversity loss and ecosystem collapse

9. Large-scale involuntary migration

10. Spread of infectious diseases

 

Gallup also recently posted a worry list from average Americans. One of the big worries these days is North Korea. In fact, it ranks number-one in a current poll. The February 1 - 10 survey of 1,044 people is really relevant today when you consider President Trump is seriously exploring a face-to-face with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un.

The worry is relevant — and now returns us to cyber concerns — to the average person considering it was North Korea who engineered the WannaCry cyber-attack last year.

 

Here’s what the poll learned about how Americans view of critical threats to vital U.S. interests.

  Development of nuclear weapons by North Korea:

  82% view as critical threat -- down from 84% in 2015 and from 79% in 2016

 

  Cyberterrorism, the use of computers to cause disruption or fear in society:

  81% view as a critical threat

 

  International terrorism:

  75% view as a critical threat

 

  The economic power of China:

  40% view as a critical threat

 

  Large number of immigrants entering the U.S.

  39% view as a critical threat

 

  The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians:

  36% view as a critical threat

 

Same question observations broken down by political party:

  Development of nuclear weapons by North Korea:

  Democrats 80%

  Republicans 87%

 

  Cyberterrorism, the use of computers to cause disruption or fear in society:

  Democrats 83%

  Republicans 82%

 

  International terrorism:

  Democrats 71%

  Republicans 81%

 

  The economic power of China:

  Democrats 34%

  Republicans 47%

 

  Large number of immigrants entering the U.S.:

  Democrats 16%

  Republicans 65%

 

  The conflict between Israel and the Palestinians:

  Democrats 33%

  Republicans 39%

 

Source links: Risk Management, Insurance Business America, Carrier Management, The Hill, Gallup

Tags:  Cyber Risk & Other Worries that Keep You Up at Nig  Insurance Content  Insurance Industry  Insurance News  Weekly Industry News 

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