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Cyber risk enters top 10 global risks for first time

Staff writer |
Aon Risk Solutions unveiled the key risks as identified by its clients across the globe. For the first time ever cyber risk entered the top 10 at number 9.

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Damage to brand and reputation was cited as the top overall concern facing global organisations, further underscoring the increasing importance of cyber risk as it has been regularly linked to brand and reputation issues in the wake of data breaches.

Aon’s global clients strongly felt that damage to brand and reputation ranked as a top concern across almost all regions and industries. This can be attributed to the growing challenges businesses are facing amongst the risks found in the top 10 list, such as cyber risk, but also including business interruption, property damage and failure to innovate.

The 1400 survey respondents to the Aon Global Risk Management Survey included CEOs, CFOs and Risk Managers providing comparative insight into different perceptions of risk.

Typically, financial and economic risks including commodity price risk, economic slowdown and technology failure were seen as damaging at C-suite level with Risk Managers focused on liability-related risks such as cyber, property damage and third party liability.

Stephen Cross, chief innovation officer, Aon Risk Solutions said "The insights provided by this survey help us understand how risks are changing as the global environment evolves. It’s little surprise to see cyber risk enter the top 10 at the same time we are seeing increasing concern about corporate reputation as the two issues are a great example of the interconnectivity of risk.

"What is surprising was the lack of alignment between the board and the risk manager. Such diverse views illustrate how imperative it is that the board of directors have effective and regular communication with risk managers to effectively assess and mitigate the company’s risk exposure."

Rory Moloney, chief executive officer, Aon Global Risk Consulting, said "This is one of the most comprehensive and insightful surveys available on risk mitigation and reveals a number of different challenges driven by today’s globally inter-dependent environment.

"While new risks such as cyber have moved to centre stage, established risks like damage to reputation or brand, are taking on new dimensions and complexities. The interconnected nature of these risks reinforces the importance of strategic risk management in every organisation."

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