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Cybersecurity becoming a 'shared' concern

Sept. 27, 2016
Both businesses and consumers worry about cybsersecurity

Even as the demand for “big data” and other information technology (IT) services keeping growing in the transportation and logistics space – as this survey details – worries regarding data security keep growing, too; and those “worries” are not just limited to the transportation providers, either.

In fact, an annual “risk survey” conducted by The Travelers Companies discerned that the business community as a whole and consumers, too, are both increasingly concerned about cybersecurity issues – though it should be noted that cybersecurity is not the number one issue atop the “risk list” of either group.

Hart Research conducted a national online survey of 1,202 business decision makers and 1,001 consumers aged 18 to 69 earlier this year to compile the annual Travelers Risk Index, which delves into the “pressing concerns of American consumers and business leaders,” Travelers said.

Here are the top worries among the consumers polled:

  • Financial concerns (70%)
  • Personal safety concerns (59%)
  • Personal privacy loss and identity theft (55%)
  • Transportation, travel concerns (54%).
  • Cyber, computer, technology risks/data breaches (51%)

Now, here are the big worries of the business leaders gleaned from this annual survey:

  • Medical cost inflation (59%)
  • Rising employee benefit costs (56%)
  • Cyber, computer, technology risks/data breaches (54%)
  • Legal liability (51%)
  • Attracting and retaining talent (50%)

While fewer respondents believe that the world is becoming “riskier,” there are shared concerns about “cyber threats, the demands of a changing workforce and severe weather,” noted Patrick Gee, senior vice president of claims at Travelers, in a statement.

He said cyber-attacks are a “significant concern” among consumers and business leaders as mobile devices, wearable technology, connected workspaces and smart homes become more common.

Half of consumers fear someone will gain unauthorized access to their personal information via smart devices, the report found, yet victims of a data breach or cyber-attack — which comprise nearly one-quarter of those consumers polled — said they “have not since taken any greater precautions” than those who have not experienced a breach.

[That’s a curious disconnect if I say so myself. Burn me once, shame on you, but burn me twice …]

Travelers’ survey also found nearly half (45%) of business leaders are worried about the emerging risks associated with increased automation and internet connectivity, with just 13% saying they are “very confident” that they have implemented best practices to avoid a cyber incident.

That means 81% lack confidence in the steps they should take in the event of a cyber breach, while only 32% of business leaders said they’ve put a “data breach response plan” in place.

A few other “shared concerns” to note between business leaders and consumers, according to Travelers’’ data:

  • Both consumers and business leaders report worrying about a changing workforce and requiring employees to acquire new skills to be successful.
  • More than one-quarter of consumers surveyed are anxious about having the skills to meet workforce demands.
  • Half of the business leaders polled report concerns about their ability to attract and retain talent.
  • Some 49% of business leaders viewed aging employees and the influx of millennials as “key disrupters.”
  • Severe weather is another shared worry, with a majority of consumers and business leaders believing “severe weather” is becoming more frequent across the U.S.
  • About 39% of consumers and 33% of business leaders indicated that they believe damage to their property is more likely to occur due to severe weather.
  • Some 63% of consumers said they have a plan for what to do before extreme weather strikes, while only about half of business leaders report that they’ve put a business continuity plan in place.

Something to chew upon as trucking crafts its strategies for the new year, which is just a scant three months ahead.

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