According to the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018, UK risk experts have listed potential cyber incidents as the most major business risk for companies to look out for in the year ahead. Sixty per cent of respondents put it at the top of their list of concerns, and with good reason – so-called ‘cyber hurricane’ incidents, in which hackers locate internet infrastructure on which multiple companies depend in order to disrupt all of the businesses in question, are on the rise. Companies have rightly been spooked by the devastation wrought by the recent WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks and the Mirai botnet, and should accordingly focus on defences. Tougher data protection rules will also have an impact on the cyber risk environment as 2018 unfolds, according to the survey.
“Every company has been, or will be, impacted by cyber risk,” said Brian Kirwan, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality in the UK. “Far from being over-hyped, the threat is under-appreciated and not always well understood. With an increase in the demand for our cyber risk products and in the volume of claims, it’s no surprise to see cyber as the top risk again for businesses in the UK. Meanwhile, the challenging macro-economic environment, uncertainty around Brexit, new barriers to trade, growing economic and financial balkanisation and threat of terrorism will continue to drive up volatility. We need to adapt to the evolving landscape to help our clients understand, manage and protect against these complex risks in 2018.”
The Allianz Risk Barometer also shows that SMEs are becoming more aware of the threat of cyber incidents, as this risk has risen from number six to number two in the list of concerns for small companies and from number three to number one for medium-sized companies.