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Cyber security, regulation top insurer concerns

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Insurers will confront competing priorities of cyber risk and regulatory challenges for time and resources, according to a survey released Monday by Minneapolis-based Wolters Kluwer Financial Services Inc.

The consultant's “Regulatory & Risk Management Indicator” for the U.S. insurance industry found that over the next 12 months, 60% of the insurance industry professionals surveyed said cyber security will receive escalated priority at their organization, with 42% citing regulatory risk. But the survey found that a majority of the insurance professionals surveyed are concerned about their organization's ability to stay informed of changing laws and regulatory requirements, which was cited by 62%, maintaining compliance with changing regulations, which was cited by 61% and demonstrating compliance to regulators, which was cited by 59%.

“Maintaining compliance in today's complex regulatory environment requires a continuous investment in compliance staff and technologies,” said Kathy Donovan, senior compliance counsel at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services in a statement. “Compliance management, like cyber security, is a cyclical process. Once a cyber security threat is resolved, another threat emerges. Today's regulatory environment is also continually evolving and requires proactive diligence and planning to stay ahead of new requirements and mitigate negative outcomes from market regulation actions.”

The report was based on the responses of 359 insurance professionals, representing property/casualty, life and health insurers, surveyed in September 2014 and in September 2015.