Cyber is putting insurance executive reputations on the line

Published: July 29, 2019

Updated: August 28, 2019

Author: Luke Jones

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Insurance is built on risk, but often that risk is projected outwards to the customer/insurer relationship. However, new emerging risks within the industry means now reputations are firmly on the line and the executive office is no longer a safe haven.

Insurance company executives are no longer separated from the risk their companies are exposed to, especially in the face of new risks that are shared. Leaders in the insurance industry now understand their own reputations are under the spotlight, emphasizing the need for robust risk management.

“One of the big things I think companies are becoming more aware of is managing their reputational risk, which can derive from so many sources – everything from MeToo to social media influencers, mergers and acquisitions, and, of course, cyber breaches, which we’re hearing a lot about,” said Phil Baker, head of Beazley Canada, to Insurance Business Magazine.

Continued year-on-year increased in illegal cyber activity pointed towards organizations is having an effect on executives. Dealing with cyber breaches is costly and regulatory movement around the world is forcing companies to have robust security infrastructure in place.

“We want to make sure that we’re talking to our customers, helping to educate them on these changes and helping them to deal with them if the unfortunate does happen,” added Baker. “Executives need to be aware of how things have changed, and ensure they understand the risks they face and address them through insurance or risk mitigation.”

For the most part, executives are staying ahead of the challenge, mostly because companies are becoming more aware of the cyber threats organizations now face. Whereas companies used to delegate cyber risk to the IT department, it has become more of an all-round effort to mitigate it in recent years.

“Years ago, when we talked to C-suite individuals, it seemed to be more of an issue for the IT department or the risk management department versus the board and executive team. That’s changed, and board members and executive members see this as a significant corporate risk versus just an IT issue,” Baker explained.