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Almost One-Third of U.S. Businesses Had a Data Breach
[December 07, 2017]

Almost One-Third of U.S. Businesses Had a Data Breach


Almost one-third of U.S. businesses (29 percent) experienced a data breach in the previous year, a survey for The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB), part of Munich Re, reported today, and eight in ten spent at least $5,000 to respond.

The HSB survey conducted by Zogby Analytics also found that almost half of the breaches (47 percent) were caused by a vendor or contractor working for a business, followed by employee negligence (21 percent) and lost or stolen mobile devices or storage media (20 percent).

"The results highlight how closely our economy and society are interconnected digitally," said Timothy Zeilman, vice president for HSB, a leading provider of cyber insurance for businesses and consumers. "Almost all of our personal and business data can be accessible on the Internet through online business connections, websites and social media. And that exposes our private information to attacks from hackers and cyber thieves."

In two-thirds of the data breaches, the businesses reported their reputation was negatively affected. When asked what the biggest hurdle would be for their organization to respond to a data breach, 51 percent said lack of knowledge and 41 percent a lack of resources.

The financial impact of a data breach was considerable: 27 percent of the businesses spent between $5,000 and $50,000 to respond and 30 percent spent between $50,000 and $100,000.

The nationwide survey of U.S. business executives is part of a continuing effort by HSB and Munich Re to anticipate trends and help its customers around the world respond to complex and evolving cyber risks.

Survey Methodology

Zogby Analytics was commissioned by Hartford Steam Boiler to survey 403 chief executive, chief information, chief technology, chief operating, chief financial officers and other senior executives in the United States.They represented a variety of businesses and institutions with revenues ranging from under $5 million to more than $200 million. The margin for error was plus or minus 5 percentage points.

For an infographic on the findings, please click here.

Hartford Steam Boiler (HSB), a member of Munich Re's Risk Solutions family since 2009, is a leading specialty insurer providing equipment breakdown, other specialty coverages, inspection services and engineering-based risk management that set the standard for excellence worldwide. We focus on clients and partner with them to craft inventive insurance and service solutions to cover existing and emerging risks posed by technological change. Today, as throughout our 150 year history, our mission is to use our engineering knowledge and insights to help clients prevent loss, advance sustainable use of energy resources and build deeper relationships that benefit business, industry, public institutions and consumers. HSB holds A.M. Best Company's highest financial rating, A++ (Superior). For more information, visit www.hsb.com and connect on LinkedIn, Twitter (News - Alert) and Facebook.


Munich Re stands for exceptional solution-based expertise, consistent risk management, financial stability and client proximity. This is how Munich Re creates value for clients, shareholders and staff. In the financial year 2016, the Group - which combines primary insurance and reinsurance under one roof - achieved a profit of €2.6bn. It operates in all lines of insurance, with over 43,000 employees throughout the world. With premium income of around €28bn from reinsurance alone, it is one of the world's leading reinsurers. Especially when clients require solutions for complex risks, Munich Re is a much sought-after risk carrier. Its primary insurance operations are concentrated mainly in ERGO, one of the leading insurance groups in Germany and Europe. ERGO is represented in over 30 countries worldwide and offers a comprehensive range of insurances, provision products and services. In 2016, ERGO posted premium income of €16.0bn. Munich Re's global investments (excluding insurance-related investments) amounting to €219bn are managed by MEAG, which also makes its competence available to private and institutional investors outside the Group.


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