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AIG: Cyber threats a top concern for industry execs

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The threat of cyber attacks worries insurance corporate executives more than anything else.

American International Group, Inc., (AIG) conducted a survey wherein they polled 323 risk managers, IT decision makers, C-suite executives and brokers in the U.S. and Canada who are involved in the insurance industry in some capacity.

The survey found that 85 percent of those polled said that they were ‘somewhat’ concerned about cyber risks to their organizations. Interestingly, in the current environment of diminished returns and slow growth, executives were more concerned with cyber threats than income loss, property damage and securities and investment risk.

Cyber threats have played the role of the intangible bogeyman of late. And as our understanding of them becomes more and more astute, they loom closer, albeit still draped in a cloak in order to serve their purpose; to keep their mechanics enough of a mystery so that the apprehension and worry that accompany the possibility of a threat play just as destructive of a role as the threat itself.

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It seems the threat of a cyber attack has permeated the consciousness of decision makers both in the public and private realm. On Monday, The New York Times, who along with the Wall Street Journal have become targets of a cyber attack from presumed hackers acting on behalf of the Chinese government due to their coverage of some sensitive Chinese domestic issues, reported that a secret legal review defined the parameters in which the U.S. could launch a preemptive cyber-attack against another nation.

Other findings in the survey found that 82 percent of brokers and executives feel that hackers are the primary source of cyber threats although 71 percent admitted that human error could also be a contributing cause.

Survey participants report that the financial repercussions of cyber attacks were not as detrimental as the reputational risk and 75 percent of executives and brokers say legal compliance issues are forcing companies to pay closer attention to the potential threat.

Taking the findings of the survey into consideration, AIG, one of the first companies to recognize the legitimacy of cyber threats, has folded a mobile app for cyber risk management into the array of tools it offers under its CyberEdge risk management solution. The app features updates on what is taking place across the country in regards to cyber attacks and data breaches and includes a breach cost calculator.