Companies in the United States have dealt seriously with cyber security for almost a decade now. The CEOs of most enterprises in the country understand the issues a cyber breach can bring.
Companies like Target and Sony have suffered greatly due to cyber attacks, and the boards of directors for many U. S. -based businesses have decided that cyber security is a huge issue worth investing in.
European businesses are a bit behind the times when cyber security is the topic at hand. That is all about to change. The European Union is about to introduce strict regulations.
The General Data Protection Regulation
Starting in 2018, the General Data Protection Regulation will create stringent requirements for all companies doing businesses in Europe. If a company handles European consumers' data, they will be required to comply with the regulations – no matter where the company is based.
To better understand how European companies deal with cyber security, Lloyd's commissioned a survey. The survey found that only 54% of CEOs in Europe take responsibility for cyber security. Many do not take the risk and impact of a major cyber attack seriously.
A Real Risk Right Now
While European CEOs do not take cyber security as seriously as their U.S.-based counterparts, they may need to. The Lloyd's survey found that 92% of businesses in the region had suffered a data breach within the last five years. That is a staggering number.
Despite evidence to the contrary, only 42% of European CEOs believe a future breach to be worrisome. Most companies were more focused on the threat of an external attack or a hack. The risk of internal attacks was not a concern for most firms.
When questioned about the motives of a potential hack, companies were concerned with the probability that a hacker would attack for financial gain. Political reasons and hacking by a competitor were also cited as primary concerns.
While European companies are beginning to focus on cyber security, there is a real risk right now. If the companies do not start to focus on these risks immediately, their complacency will cost them greatly in the future. The implications of a cyber attack could be vast.
Understanding Cyber Insurance
While big businesses in the United States typically have some form of cyber insurance, business leaders in Europe are generally unaware of the need. Over 73% of CEOs in Europe had a limited understanding of cyber insurance, according to the survey from Lloyd's. Another 50% did not realize that insurance for data breaches is available.
As the conversation about cyber security continues in Europe, many companies will be forced to pay attention to the new EU regulations and how to protect their consumer data properly.
Typically, this focus will result in added cyber security measures and some type of cyber insurance coverage. Cyber insurance is more than coverage for lost income. The coverage includes customer protections and a focus on preserving a company's reputation.