Cyber incidents emerge as top global business risk

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39% of companies feel threatened by cyber incidents



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29 January 2020 | 0

Nearly 40% of companies consider cyber incidents to be the leading global business risk in 2020, according to the Allianz Risk Barometer. Further, 37% of companies are concerned about business interruption, making it the second biggest risk.

Changes in legislation and regulation, such as trade wars, tariffs, economic sanctions, Brexit, and Euro-zone disintegration, ranked third on the list, at 27%. Then came natural catastrophes and market development, both at 21%.

This comes from data gathered by, which revealed that global concerns about cybercrime, IT failure and data breach increased by 2% over the last year.




While, 38% of European enterprises said they felt threatened by cybercrime, IT failure or data breach, the figure rose to 43% in the US. Just 27% of companies from the Middle East and Africa consider cyber threats the leading business risk in 2020.

Corporations of all sizes have vocalised concern about cyber threats, the report found. Large companies are more concerned than mid-size firms, at 43% and 36% respectively. However, concern among large companies saw a 2% decrease from 2019 levels, while mid-size firms are 4% more worried about the threat than the previous years results.

Concern is also on the rise for small companies. As 35% of small enterprises consider cyber incidents the most critical business risk in 2020, a 4% increase in the last year alone. This comes as the US Securities and Exchange Commission found that 60% of small businesses that fall victim to an attack shut down within six months.


Cyber incidents represent the most critical business risk in telecommunications, where 75% of companies feel threatened by cybercrime, data breach or IT failure. According to, telecommunication companies are major targets of cyber-attacks as they build, control, and operate critical infrastructure widely used to communicate and collect large amounts of sensitive data.

After telecommunications came the technology market, at 57%, followed by financial and professional services at 46%. Near 40% of government institutions globally share the same concerns.

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