Safeguarding value in the era of cyber risk

“Prepare for the expected” as cyber risk takes centre stage: Aon C-suite series report

Toronto, ON (Sept. 12, 2019) – The cyber threat is producing some alarming statistics:

  • The cost of global cyber losses is predicted to reach $6 trillion annually by 2021.[1]
  • Cyber security spending will exceed $1 trillion from 2017 to 2021.[2]

Barely a week passes without the fallout of a cyber-attack on a major corporation hitting the headlines. In July 2019, the data breach at Capital One exposed the records of almost 106 million people in the US and Canada.[3] In Europe, Norsk Hydro was forced to halt production following a cyber-attack in March 2019, which is expected to cost the firm up to $51 million.[4]

Organizations are starting to see the significant financial impact of non-compliance with data privacy and the General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 (“GDPR”). The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) issued a notification of intention to impose a £183 million fine on British Airways in July 2019.[5] In the same month, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a $5 billion civil penalty against Facebook for violations of an earlier FTC order. The fine has been described as both “record-breaking and history-making”.[6]

C-suite leaders are aware of these threats to their businesses, but are they fully prepared? Do they have the tools in place to deal with a cyber-attack as soon as it occurs? A cyber-incident, no matter what kind or if it makes headline news, holds the potential to have a catastrophic impact on an organisation’s balance sheet.

The C-suite are being held accountable for their actions, and plausible deniability is no longer an excuse. Boards of directors and management need to include cyber perils and solutions in corporate governance discussions, as they seek to understand and manage the financial impact of high-profile cyber-incidents.

Organizations that fail to prepare will be left in the dark on the day of a cyber-attack, facing escalating costs and irreparable reputational damage.

Download the C-suite report from Aon: Prepare for the expected: Safeguarding value in the era of cyber risk.


1. Cybersecurity Ventures: Cybersecurity Facts, Figures, Predictions, And Statistics For 2019 To 2021 (2019).

2. Ibid.

3. Capital One: Information on the Capital One Cyber Incident (2019).

4. Q1 Operational and market update (2019).

5. Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO): Intention to fine British Airways £183.39m under GDPR for data breach (2019).

6. Federal Trade Commission (FTC): FTC’s $5 billion Facebook settlement: Record-breaking and history-making (2019).

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