Cyber is the most important business risk facing businesses in 2020, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer.
It is the first time cyber concerns have topped the list of business risks identified by the survey, conducted by Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty (AGCS). In 2018 and 2019 cyber was the second biggest risk, cited by 40 percent and 37 percent of respondents, respectively.
As recently as 2013, Cyber was 15th on the list of concerns. This turnaround has been driven by companies’ increasing reliance on their data and IT systems, Allianz said. Meanwhile, cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated, and the number of ransomware attacks is growing. This, along with the cost of data breaches and the increasing prospect of litigation have pushed the issue to the top of the corporate risk agenda.
Companies are also being increasingly targeted by nation states, AGCS noted. Cyber is even an issue during mergers and acquisitions: the 2018 Marriott breach was traced to an intrusion in 2014 at Starwood, a hotel group it acquired in 2016.
Marek Stanislawski, deputy global head of cyber at AGCS, said: “The cost of large data breaches continues to increase, as data protection and privacy regulation widen in scope and geographical reach and class action litigation also starts to impact the cost of dealing with a breach.”
Stanislawski added: “More and more events – from leaving a laptop with confidential data on a train to losing a customer list – can constitute a data breach."
Allianz Global Corporate and Specialty, AGCS, Allianz Risk Barometer