ACE USA Study Unveils Top Issues Facing Risk Managers

November 10, 2005

A survey of challenges facing chief risk officers and senior risk managers, sponsored by the ACE Group of Companies, reportedly demonstrates that senior risk managers are becoming increasingly worried about identify theft and the threat to corporate data security.

According to the findings of the latest quarterly Corporate Business Barometer, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, companies face far more business risk as a result of the changing network risk and regulatory environment.

The latest global survey gauged the opinions of 230 senior risk managers in Asia, Europe, and the Americas, who rated network risk a significant threat facing them today. Almost 50 percent of the same respondents cited reputational risk stemming from breaches in network security as an equally significant threat to their organizations.

“The combination of increased consumer concerns, growing criminal threats and tougher regulations has transformed corporate data security from just another problem for the IT department to a crucial risk management challenge for the whole enterprise,” said Brad Gow, vice president of ACE USA Professional Risk. “Data security threats are continually evolving. Without a constant focus on actively managing data and protecting personal information, data security becomes a growing challenge not just from a technological standpoint, but also from the perspective of legal liability, regulatory compliance, corporate reputation, and, ultimately, profitability.”

The fact that risk managers, as opposed to IT professionals, are now focusing on these concerns indicates that corporations around the world are becoming more aware of the risks of data security and identity theft.

Risk managers were queried on whether regulation in one country increasingly had a “knock-on” effect on the rest of their global operations and processes. Many strongly agreed and added that the benefits of recent regulation have outweighed the problems, even though more than 35 percent of risk managers said that internal resources were overwhelmed with compliance activities.

In addition, the survey revealed that making a senior manager responsible for monitoring regulatory activities was critical to the organization’s financial well-being and strength.

The findings in this study are based on a survey of 230 senior executives. Forty-four percent of the participants were based in the U.S., 32 percent were based in Europe, and 15 percent were based in Asia Pacific.

Thirty-nine percent of the companies participating in the survey were from the financial services sector. Respondents from 17 other industries participated in the survey, including professional services, energy sector companies, and IT and technology firms, and pharmaceutical and healthcare companies.

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