Cyber threats now are the top concern at most organizations

Cyber threats are the top concern among businesses of all sizes, according to the 2019 Travelers Risk Index report from insurer The Travelers Companies.

This marks the first time cyber security has been named as the No. 1 concern for responding organizations since the survey began in 2014.

Of the 1,200 business leaders who participated in the survey, 55 percent said they worry some or a great deal about cyber risks. That came ahead of medical cost inflation (cited by 54 percent), employee benefit costs (cited by 53 percent), the ability to attract and retain talent (cited by 46 percent) and legal liability (cited by 44 percent).

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As concerns about cyber threats have increased, a higher percentage of companies across nearly every industry reported taking proactive measures to safeguard against cyber risks. Still, a sizable percentage have not implemented such preventive best practices, the report indicates.

The steps taken by respondents include purchasing cyber insurance (cited by 51 percent of survey participants); creating a business continuity plan in the event of a cyber attack (cited by 47 percent); taking a cyber risk assessment for themselves (cited by 49 percent) and their vendors (cited by 41 percent); and updating computer passwords (cited by 74 percent).

Since 2015, the percentage of small business respondents that have suffered a cyber attack has tripled, from 4 percent to 12 percent. Increases were also reported among medium-sized companies (10 percent in 2015 to 20 percent this year); and large businesses (from 19 percent to 33 percent).

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