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AFP Survey: Cyberspending Up, But Not on Cyberinsurance

  • By Staff Writers
  • Published: 11/4/2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cyber risk is clearly a top threat to treasury and finance professionals and to the entire economy, according to an onsite survey conducted Monday at the 2014 AFP Annual Conference. Most organizations and their counterparties have been hit by either an actual or attempted cyberattack at least once over the past 12 months. As a result, cyber spending has increased, though not necessarily on cyber insurance.

Three key takeaways from the survey, which generated 940 responses:

  1. Fully 62 percent of companies and their counterparties have been subject to an actual or attempted cyberattack sometime over the past year.
  2. Most companies have sharply increased spending dedicated to combat cyber risk, but not necessarily for cyber insurance.
  3. Financial professionals see data breaches as not only a risk to their company, but also to the overall economy as a whole.    

The increased concern has translated into greater investment in resources to combat cyberattacks. Seventy-one percent of organizations have increased spending dedicated to mitigating possible cyberattacks over the past year, with a quarter of companies increasing this spending by at least 50 percent. Further, two-thirds of organizations have updated their crisis response and business continuity plans within the past year, including a quarter of companies that have done so within the past 90 days.

Curiously, one area where companies have not necessarily increased their spending is for cyber insurance. A mere 15 percent of financial professionals report that their companies have increased the amount of cyber insurance that they carry, with only 6 percent of companies now carrying cyber insurance after having not carried it in the past. More surprising, 31 percent of conference attendees report that their organization does not currently carry cyber insurance.  

Finally, financial professionals view cyberattacks as not only a possible risk to their companies, but also to the broader economy as a whole. Seventy-three percent of conference attendees believe successful data breaches at financial institutions can have a significant detrimental impact on overall business conditions while 47 percent feel the fear the same impact from a widespread loss of faith in payments technology.

Early next year, AFP will further explore the corporate reaction to Cyber Risk with the 2015 AFP Risk Survey, with support by Marsh & McLennan Companies. The report, featuring insights on how companies are mitigating their exposure to cyber risk, will be published in January 2015.

Full results of the AFP Onsite Survey are available at

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