ICICI Lombard survey shows cyber risk comes at fifth spot

A majority of India Inc believes that traditional risks such as those to property and assets are most crucial to their businesses with cyber risk is seen as the fifth biggest challenge.

A new report by ICICI Lombard General Insurance on “Managing New Age Risks” found that 58 per cent of the respondents thought that property and assets was the most pivotal risk, followed by employee health and accident risks at 53 per cent.

As many as 52 per cent of the respondents thought machinery and equipment related issues to be the biggest business risk while just 30 per cent of the respondents saw cyber risk as the biggest challenge.

New age risks

The report is based on a survey of CXOs of 100 companies with a turnover of over 2,000 crore across various sectors to assess the understanding and preparedness of Indian business houses towards risks, especially new age risks.

Amongst critical new age risks, 47 per cent of the respondents thought data theft will be the biggest challenge while 39 per cent considered it to be cyber related issues.

As many as 67 per cent of the respondents felt that risks from cyber-crimes have increased substantially in the last 3 years and 63 per cent believed risks from data thefts have gone up substantially in the same period. The findings come at a time when cyber and other new age risks are seen to be the biggest challenge for companies globally, not only in the banking and financial sector but also diverse sectors such as manufacturing and energy.

According to a report by Symantec, India was the target of 17 per cent of cyberattacks, second only to the US where 38 per cent of all such incidents took place between 2015 – 2017.

Most general insurers now offer policies against cyber risk.

Not prepared

The survey also found that India Inc is not well prepared to deal with new age risks with un-equipped systems, paucity of skilled manpower and lack of understanding from senior management leading to ‘low preparedness’.

When asked about the best way to handle new age risks, 71 per cent companies felt these should be prevented rather than handled after they occur. Meanwhile, 81 per cent companies believed that insurers are equipped to a certain extent in managing new age risks especially those relating to cloud computing and cyber attacks. However, when it comes to data theft related risks, 63 per cent firms believe that the same can be managed internally.