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Cyber attacks lead concerns of directors, officers

Posted On: Nov. 26, 2018 12:39 PM CST

Cyber attack data brea

Risk associated with cyber attacks and data breaches head directors and officers list of top risks, says a survey issued Monday.

The sixth annual survey by Willis Towers Watson PLC and London-based law firm Allen & Overy LLP found that cyber attacks and data breaches have overtaken regulatory and other investigations as top risks, according to the 161 directors, risk officers and others surveyed in the latest report.

The survey report, D&O: Personal Exposure to Global Risk, said 44% of respondents reported they have experienced either a significant cyber attack or a sizeable data loss in the past year, compared with the 24% who reported this in last year’s survey.

Other top risks reported by respondents were regulatory and other investigations, health and safety legislation, and criminal and regulatory fines and penalties, with health and safety making the “top five” for the first time.

The survey found that 43% of large employers, and 38% of listed companies, experienced a regulatory claim involving a director in the last 12 months.

Among other results, 60% reported the regulatory focus on personal accountability is changing company behavior.

The biggest concern about policy terms is whether a D&O policy will be able to respond to claims in all jurisdiction, according to the report.

Other coverage issues were how claims against directors and officers will be controlled and settled; a broad definition of who is insured, clear and easy-to-follow policy terms; and whether there is coverage for the cost of advice at the early stages of an investigation.