London - Senior executives and risk professionals consider data loss the most significant threat and key issue to address in operational risk management planning, according to a global risk briefing report conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by London-based ACE European Group Ltd. (ACE).More than 40% of the 181 respondents said their organization focuses more on loss of data than other issues—including systems failure, human error and even natural disasters.
According to ACE, the results mark a growing risk management trend toward a greater emphasis on the operational impact of data loss. "The survey shows that risk managers clearly understand the value of data and, increasingly, are focusing on its associated losses," says Gareth Tungatt, senior underwriter, specializing in IT and Cyber Risk at ACE.
"I see this report as providing the evidence to show that more businesses are looking ahead in terms of their business continuity planning," Tungatt continues. "Seventy one per cent of those questioned said that they have increased the time and resources they dedicate to focusing on their business continuity programs."
More than half of the survey respondents believe the volume and severity of operational risks have increased in the last three years but reassuringly, a similar number were confident that their business's operational risk planning would successfully manage areas such as risk assessment and quantification.
When asked about the business impact of poor planning, 43% of respondents identified damaging the company's reputation as the main threat. However, only 19% said loss of revenue.
"The apparent lower level of fear about loss of revenue is a concern," Tungatt says. "Based on the survey's findings exposure to financial losses is expected to increase so it is clear that businesses should be doing a lot more than they currently are to counter the financial implications of data loss."
"Products such as ACE's Dataguard cover have been developed to provide protection against such losses and risk managers should be considering these to mitigate potential business failure," Tungatt says.
Source: ACE European Group Ltd.
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