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Corporate boards aware of cyber risk, but majority don't act on cyber security

Corporate boards aware of cyber risk, but majority don't act on cyber security

Two-thirds of corporate boards are very concerned about cyber security, but just 44% say they have made a decision on the topic, according to a board governance survey released Tuesday.

The survey of more than 200 global corporate and company secretaries by New York-based Thomson Reuters Corp. also found that 60% of organizations never or only occasionally encrypt their board communications.

The survey, which was conducted in August, found that cyber security information is the least frequently requested by the board, behind issues including risk oversight, the industry in which the company operates, and regulatory intelligence and updates, according to the survey, “The Evolving Role of the Global Board, Results of the 2014 Thompson Reuters Board Governance Survey.”

“In this digital age, it's alarming that so many organizations don't have structures in place to safeguard their information from security and cyber security threats,” said Phil Cotter, head of risk at Thomson Reuters, in a statement.

“What's disheartening is that information on cyber security remains the least frequently requested information by corporate boards, which leaves significant uncertainty around their ability to effectively oversee security management, particularly if they aren't taking steps to keep fully informed on security matters,” Mr. Cotter said.

A survey by Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. and Advisen Ltd. released last week found that while the recognition of cyber risk among risk managers and corporate boards is rising, the purchase of cyber liability insurance is leveling off.

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