TUESDAY 6 MAR 2018 5:02 PM


The growing threat of cyber incidents are deemed to be the most pressing business risk of 2018, according to the annual Allianz Risk Barometer. Additionally, the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) later this year is predicted to bring greater scrutiny to the cyber security landscape. Before battening down the hatches however, business leaders must effectively communicate the evolving dangers of risk as a top priority.

This year’s Allianz Risk Barometer specified a significant rise in concern over cyber hacking, with common internet infrastructure a key point of target for hackers. The annual study warned of a potential ‘cyber hurricane,’ disrupting global business. GDPR’s inclusion only escalates the issue, as companies have until May 2018 to implement adequate privacy standards.  

Brian Kirwan, CEO of Allianz Global Corporate & Security (AGCS), says, “Every company has been, or will be impacted by cyber risk. Far from being overhyped, the threat is underappreciated and not always well understood.” The seventh annual study consulted more than 1,900 risk experts from 80 countries, compiling an overview of where the developing areas of risk are for businesses.

Away from cyber security, the study also revealed that the rising impact of new technologies remains another concern for businesses. As organisations remain receptive of the possibilities of tech, vulnerability could arise through autonomous or self-learning machines’ failure to defend against security breaches. Yet businesses’ IT networks and developing tools may find it difficult taking the middle road, with a lack of full fledge commitment in future technologies hindering innovation.

Interestingly, the impact of natural causes was another high-ranking component to the 2018 Allianz Risk Barometer. In 2017, a record-breaking $135bn in insured losses from natural catastrophes gives wider perspective to the growing threats that businesses face. Consecutive hurricanes in the US and Caribbean have resulted in natural disaster ranking third overall in the barometer’s top business risks.

“The impact of natural catastrophes goes far beyond the physical damage to structures in the affected areas. As industries become leaner and more connected, natural catastrophes can disrupt a large variety of sectors that might not seem directly affected at first glance around the world,” says Ali Shahkarami, head of catastrophe risk research at AGCS.

For a more detailed look at the Allianz Risk Barometer 2018, click here.


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