Many major businesses continue to underestimate the potential impact of a cyber event on their operations, warns a survey of nearly 350 senior European executives by Lloyds, the London insurance market organisation.
The Lloyd's Facing the Cyber Risk Challenge survey, to which 100 British executives responded, revealed that only 13% of European companies believe they will lose trade in the event of cyber attack. And despite 92% of businesses experiencing some form of cyber breach in the last five years, only 42% are worried that another incident will happen in the future.
Although cyber security is now considered to be an executive responsibility, with 54% of CEOs in European companies taking responsibility for it, Inga Beale, Chief Executive of Lloyd's, said the survey results should serve as a warning that firms may still be too complacent in the face of potential cyber attack.
Beale said: "It is reassuring that responsibility for cyber risk is sitting at the most senior level of businesses, but it is clear that too many firms do not believe that the dangers of a breach will severely impact them. I'm afraid we no longer live in a world where you can prevent breaches taking place, instead it is about how you manage them and what measures you have in place to protect your business and importantly, your customers. As recent events have shown, hard-earned reputations can be lost in a flash if you do not have the correct plans in place."
Beale said that insurance can provide a critical role in helping businesses in this environment, not just in terms of cover for any financial losses, but for the support regarding meeting regulatory obligations and dealing with potential operational and reputational fall-outs.
"New Europe-wide regulations will mean that businesses have to be more responsive to any cyber incident than may have been the case in the past. Insurance companies provide more than just cover for any lost income, they offer a wrap-around service that can keep businesses on the right side of regulation and help protect their customers and their reputation."