Cyber Risks a Growing Concern for Businesses

Cyber Risks a Growing Concern for Businesses

Cyber risks was a growing area of concern among the top American businesses of all sizes and industries, according to a new study.

[Related: Is Your Small Business Protected from Cyber Attacks?]

The second annual Travelers Business Risk Index, which polled more than 1,200 business decision makers at companies of varying sizes, found that cyber risks were the second-biggest concerns for all businesses–behind only the inflation of medical costs and a significant worry for 58% of businesses, up from 53% in 2014.

Businesses are most concerned with malicious or criminal attacks on their websites and data–55%–but also expressed concerns over human error (24%) and system glitches (21%)

According to a release, small businesses are often the targets of hackers, with 1 in 5 small businesses (those defined as having less than 250 employees) attacked by hackers. But this group is also the least likely to worry about cyber-related attacks–45% versus 70% of large companies and 60% of midsize companies.

Some other key findings from the study:


  • 57% of businesses worry their computer systems will be infected with a virus
  • 50% worry their systems will be hacked
  • 51% worry about having their computers damaged or crashing
  • 59% of large businesses worry about employees putin information or systems at risk through unsafe computing practices or using personal devices for business
  • 33% of businesses have a cyber data breach response plan
  • 39% say they have employee data protection or education practices in place

Cybercrime is expected to become an even costlier problem for businesses–projected to set them back collectively more than $2 trillion in 2019. It’s also one reason why the Department of Homeland Security recently announced it would open up an office in Silicon Valley.

But with more transactions taking place online and with more consumer data being collected by companies big and small, the adage is becoming it’s not a matter of if one’s business is attacked, it’s a matter of when. And consumers and businesses could be spending more time recovering in the aftermath of those breaches, with the businesses potentially losing the trust of customers and being shut down.