Cybersecurity is a growing risk for businesses, as firms fret about the damage an incident could cause to their reputation

Hayley Kirton
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Cyber incidents placed as the top risk to businesses in the UK (Source: Getty)

Companies are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact cyber attacks could have on their business, particularly the effect they could have on their reputation.

According to a survey of more than 800 risk managers and insurance experts from around the world released today by Allianz, cyber incidents ranked as the top risk to businesses in the UK, up from third place when the survey was run last year.

Worldwide, cyber incidences ranked as the third biggest risk, up from fifth place last year, and the most important long-term risk for companies over the next 10 years.

Read more: These are the parts of the finance sector hackers target

When asked how their business could lose out because of a cybersecurity issue, over two-thirds (69 per cent) said a hampered reputation would be a key cause of loss to the business, while 60 per cent said interruption to business and 52 per cent said claims after a breach.

“The corporate risk landscape is changing as many industrial sectors are undergoing a fundamental transformation,” said Chris Fischer Hirs, chief executive of Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty. “New technologies, increasing digitalisation and the ‘Internet of Things’ are changing customer behaviour, industrial operations and business models, bringing a wealth of opportunities, but also raising awareness of the need for an enterprise-wide response to new challenges.”

Read more: Mobile banking apps are exposing us to cyber attacks

Jens Krickhahn, cyber insurance expert at Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty, added: “Studies show that it takes, on average, 90 days for businesses to discover they have been hacked. Often the incident is identified, not by the business itself, but by the customer or another stakeholder, which is another reason why cyber risks pose a huge threat to a company’s reputation.”

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