Cyber Risk Cracks the Top 10 List of Global Risk Factors

Don Miller

Time for a bit of cybersecurity news from bTrade.

Businesses are Grappling with New Risks

Aon Risk Solutions, a global provider of risk management and insurance products and services, recently announced the results of its 2015 Global Risk Management Survey.  The bi-annual survey gets input from Aon clients consisting of public and private companies of all sizes from around the world.  According to Aon, the 2015 survey findings “underscore that companies are grappling with new risks and that there are differences of opinion on how to best prioritize and respond to them.”

For IT professionals, especially those in the secure/managed file transfer space, this is certainly not news.  But I digress.

Cyber Risk is Ranked #9

The Aon survey produced the following Top 10 list of global risks:

     1. Damage to reputation/brand

     2. Economic slowdown/slow recovery

     3. Regulatory/legislative changes

     4. Increasing competition

     5. Failure to attract or retain top talent

     6. Failure to innovate/meet customer needs

     7. Business interruption

     8. Third party liability

     9. Cyber Risk (computer crime/hacking/viruses/malicious codes)

     10. Property damage

The newsworthy aspect of the survey is that cyber risk entered the Top 10 (at #9), for the first time ever.  This finding surprised me a bit.  Considering that the survey respondents included CEOs, CFOs and Risk Managers, and given everything that’s happened in the world of cybersecurity (e.g., the mega data breaches hitting enterprises of all sizes), I’m surprised that cyber risk only now cracked the Top 10.

Damage to Brand and Reputation is #1, and is Closely Tied to Cyber Risk

The other newsworthy aspect of the Top 10 is that “damage to reputation/brand” is now the top overall concern facing global organizations.    According to Aon, its clients “strongly felt” that damage to brand and reputation is the top concern “across almost all regions and industries.”  Aon also noted this “further underscore[es] the increasing importance of cyber risk as it has been regularly linked to brand and reputation issues in the wake of data breaches.”

What is the Takeaway?

Rory Moloney, Chief Executive Officer of Aon’s Global Risk Consulting, said:  “This is one of the most comprehensive and insightful surveys available on risk mitigation and reveals a number of different challenges driven by today’s globally inter-dependent environment. While new risks such as cyber have moved to centre stage, established risks like damage to reputation or brand, are taking on new dimensions and complexities.  The interconnected nature of these risks reinforces the importance of strategic risk management in every organization.”

Stephen Cross, Aon’s Chief Innovation Officer, said:  “The insights provided by this survey help us understand how risks are changing as the global environment evolves. It’s little surprise to see cyber risk enter the top 10 at the same time we are seeing increasing concern about corporate reputation as the two issues are a great example of the interconnectivity of risk.  What is surprising was the lack of alignment between the Board and the Risk Manager.  Such diverse views illustrate how imperative it is that the Board of Directors have effective and regular communication with risk managers to effectively assess and mitigate the company’s risk exposure.”