Cyber and beyond: Insurance and risk in a digitally interconnected world

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When everyone and everything becomes interconnected, new types of risks emerge and old ones are swept out of focus. “Cyber risk” is the next big thing that keeps business leaders up at night. What can companies do to combat these risks, and how can insurers help them?

Based on two surveys of 800 insurers and 1,000 other companies, IBM’s latest insurance study shows that, to successfully navigate the risks of the digitally interconnected environment, insurers and their clients need to prepare their organizations well, build the right solutions and collaborate extensively.

Highlights:

  • 60 per cent expect the relative risks of digital interconnectedness to increase over the next 10 years;
  • Almost 48 percent of companies believe the risks posed by digital interconnectedness are higher than other risks that threaten them;
  • Almost 32 have been affected by a digital interconnectedness incident that caused economic damage in the past three years.

Armonk, NY (June 27, 2016) – For better or worse, digital technologies are radically changing almost every aspect of our lives. As the world becomes “smaller” – increasingly interconnected, instrumented and intelligent – virtually every interaction is affected, including the way people talk to each other and how they communicate to the organizations with which they do business. Organizations interact differently with their industries, partners, suppliers and customers. Business models are affected, and entire industries are transforming.

At the core of digital disruption is the ability to connect everyone to everyone and everything to everything, exchanging data and information in vast quantities and at tremendous speeds. This data exchange has enormous advantages, but comes at a price: data can be lost, stolen or tampered with, and the entry points of digital interconnectedness can be used and misused by third parties to wreak havoc on any person or organization that uses digital technologies for transactions.

The Insurance Services Office, an advisory and rating organization for the property and casualty industry, lists “cybersecurity” as the top emerging business issue today, ahead of the Internet of Things (IoT), drones and social media. All of these are facets of digital interconnectedness.

How can and do companies assess and prepare for the risks of digital interconnectedness? How do technology, employee skills and other factors influence these risks? To gain insight into these questions, IBM surveyed 800 insurers and 1,000 executives from other industries globally on their actions and expectations about the risks of digital interconnectedness.

The results show that outperforming organizations manage risks of digital interconnectedness, using traditional insurance and other measures. They embrace interconnectedness to create enhanced security solutions around prevention and mitigation, and they collaborate extensively within and outside their own industries, adapting their business models and giving rise to new modes of value creation.

View the executive report online, or download a copy.

About IBM

IBM (NYSE: IBM) is one of the largest technology, services and consulting organizations. We help clients of all sizes and in all industries transform their operations through the use of technology, infusing intelligence into the systems that run our businesses, our society and the world. Visit www.ibm.ca for more information.

About Swiss Re

The Swiss Re Group is a leading wholesale provider of reinsurance, insurance and other insurance-based forms of risk transfer. Dealing direct and working through brokers, its global client base consists of insurance companies, mid-to-large-sized corporations and public sector clients. From standard products to tailor-made coverage across all lines of business, Swiss Re deploys its capital strength, expertise and innovation power to enable the risk-taking upon which enterprise and progress in society depend.

Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re serves clients through a network of about 70 offices globally and is rated “AA-” by Standard & Poor’s, “Aa3” by Moody’s, and “A+” by A.M. Best. Registered shares in the Swiss Re Group holding company, Swiss Re Ltd, are listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and trade under the symbol SREN. For more information about Swiss Re Group, please visit www.swissre.com/.