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Cyber threats biggest concern for IT businesses

More senior executives are concerned about cyber threats than any other major business risk, according to a survey of perceptions about cyber risk by AIG this week.

The global insurance firm says over 85% of the 323 decision-makers surveyed said they were very or somewhat concerned about cyber risks to their organisations.

That is compared with the group’s response to six other areas of risk, including income loss, property damage and investment risk.

AIG Insurance New Zealand Limited’s CEO, Cris Knell, says that with the country ranked 4th in the world for cyber crime, the survey is timely.

“80% of those surveyed say they find it difficult to keep pace because the cyber threat is evolving so rapidly," he says.

Knell says further findings provide an even deeper insight into the level of cyber risk concern among executives and brokers:

• 69% of executives and brokers believe that the reputational risk from a cyber attack is far greater to a company than the financial risk

• 79% of executives and brokers say legal compliance issues are making companies think more about cyber risks

• The vast majority of brokers and executives (82%) believe hackers are the primary source of cyber threats, though a significant portion of those surveyed (71%) also perceive human error as a significant component of cyber risk

“The financial cost of cyber attacks can be enormous and includes lost productivity, legal intervention, lost intellectual property, and reputational damage, coupled with the loss of customer confidence,” says Ian Pollard, vice president, AIG Asia Pacific.

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