Cyber is biggest business risk in UK, finds AGCS

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A cyber attack was the top business risk for the UK in Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty’s (AGCS) latest Risk Barometer, as ‘hurricane’ events become increasingly common.

Some 60% of more than 1,900 risk experts who responded to the survey pinpointed a cyber attack as the biggest risk to UK businesses, with so-called ‘cyber hurricane’ events, where hackers disrupt large numbers of companies through common internet infrastructure dependencies, increasing in frequency.

Cyber incidents continues its upward trend globally in the Allianz Risk Barometer, going from fifteenth five years ago to second in 2018.

Recent events such as the WannaCry and Petya ransomware attacks brought significant financial losses to a large number of businesses, according to AGCS.

Others, such as the Mirai botnet, the largest-ever distributed denial of service attack on major internet platforms and services in Europe and North America, at the end of 2016, demonstrate the interconnectedness of risks and shared reliance on common internet infrastructure and service providers.

The potential for ‘cyber hurricane’ events to occur will continue to grow in 2018, AGCS said.

“Every company has been, or will be impacted by cyber risk. Far from being over-hyped, the threat is under-appreciated and not always well understood,” according to AGCS UK CEO Brian Kirwan.

“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 macroeconomic environment, uncertainty around Brexit, new barriers to trade, growing economic and financial balkanization 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.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk