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Survey shows that cyber crime and terror risk are under-rated threats

Aon Global Risk Consulting has conducted research to understand more about organizations’ attitudes to the top threats they face in today’s ‘hyper connected’ world.

With a focus on analytics, Aon wanted to further explore some of the results of its biennial Global Risk Management Survey (GRMS) published in 2013, so it subsequently asked captive directors (executive and non-executive) for their opinions on the rankings of the top 50 risks identified.

Stephen Cross, Chairman, Aon Centre for Innovation and Analytics, said “We felt that the results from the GRMS 2013 had thrown up some anomalies. With our expertise in the captive space, we approached captive directors for their opinions on the rankings of various risks to give us a more holistic view. As a result, we believe there is a real debate to be had across the risk management industry on insurable versus uninsurable risk. Understanding risk has always been a fact of business life, but today, the magnitude, complexity and speed have increased exponentially. That is why business leaders are concerned with how they manage risk.”

One particular threat that Aon felt was under-rated was cyber crime, which was voted as the #18 risk affecting businesses. Overall 83 percent of captive directors agreed that the #18 ranking was ‘severely’ or ‘perhaps’ under-rated.

“Successful business are increasingly using technology to increase sales, maximise efficiency and reduce expenses, but evolving technologies such as cloud computing and social media increase a business’s risk to cyber theft, fraud and sabotage” commented Rory Moloney, CEO of Aon Global Risk Consulting, “I believe the low rating of cyber threat might be due to a lack of ownership as often it’s not clear where this risk rests in an organization. Also, we still lack data which makes it difficult for the insurance market to respond," he said.

Another area of concern to Aon was the attitude towards terrorism risk, which was ranked #46 in the survey and 52 percent of captive directors agreed that this threat was ranked too low (62 percent in the Americas).

Aon’s view is that with more incidences of political unrest and terrorist attacks, organizations must not become complacent, as terrorism attacks are not confined to politically or economically unstable regions, and the results are almost always devastating.

Cross said: "Is it a case of 'out of sight, out of mind'? Complacency around risk management is an issue and we need to heighten this issue. We believe risk managers have underrated the risk of terrorism, and the views of expert captive directors concur with our view.”

www.aon.com/underratedthreats

•Date: 20th January 2014 • World •Type: Article • Topic: Enterprise risk management

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