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Travelers Risk Index Sees Cyber as the Top Business Concern

October 4, 2021

The 2021 Travelers Risk Index found that cyber threats are the top business concern. Of the 1,200 business leaders who participated in the national survey, 59% said they worry some or a great deal about cyber, compared to medical cost inflation (53%) and increasing employee benefit costs (53%). The results mark a return to the top spot for cyber, which also ranked first in 2019.

Despite heightened cyber concerns, only 61% of participants reported feeling extremely or very confident in their company’s cyber practices. In addition, less than half of survey respondents have adopted basic preventive measures available to companies, such as multifactor authentication, and cyber attacks continue to increase both in frequency and severity. According to the survey, one-fourth of participants said their company has been a cyber victim – a 150% increase from 2015 – with nearly half (47%) reporting that the event happened within the past 12 months.

The results follow a recent meeting at the White House where Alan Schnitzer, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Travelers, joined President Biden and members of his Cabinet and national security team, as well as private sector and education leaders to discuss how to improve the nation’s cybersecurity.

“We constantly work to raise awareness of the serious and costly consequences that cyber threats can pose,” said Tim Francis, Enterprise Cyber Lead at Travelers. “These survey results show that despite cyber risks being the top concern, too many companies are unprepared to deal with them. It’s crucial that businesses take the necessary actions to protect their data and assets, especially with so many employees continuing to work remotely.”

Other key findings from the Travelers Risk Index include:

Security breaches, system glitches and unauthorized access to bank accounts are the top three cyber-specific business concerns.

The percentage of respondents who said their company suffered a security breach where someone hacked into a system increased nearly 40% compared to 2020, to almost half (46%).

More than half (55%) of companies believe it is inevitable that at some point they will be the victim of a data breach or cyber attack.

There continues to be an increase in the percentage of survey respondents whose companies have purchased a cyber insurance policy: 56% this year compared to 39% in 2018.

Travelers provides a range of coverage options and services to help businesses of all sizes prepare for and recover from a cyber event. That includes a full suite of prebreach resources, putting customers in the best possible position to prevent a cyber incident through a complete risk mitigation program, as well as technical expertise and financial support to facilitate post-breach recovery.

The Travelers Institute, Travelers’ public policy division, will present a virtual program called “The Fight Against Cyber Crime – From Prevention to Prosecution” on Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. ET. The program will feature Edward Chang, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut at the U.S. Department of Justice, and Jeff Klenk, President of Bond & Specialty Insurance at Travelers, who will highlight the public and private sector collaborative efforts to reduce cyber crime.

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