How outperforming companies approach cybersecurity

Swiss Re and IBM® recently carried out a corporate survey of the risks presented by digital interconnectedness. Within the survey, companies were categorised as: outperformers, average performers and underperformers – based on revenue growth and organisational efficiency. This revealed a number of insights into how the outperformers are preparing to defend themselves against cyber threats.

Cross-functional risk management

The Boards of Directors and senior management at outperformers are highly engaged and knowledgeable about digital interconnectedness risks. As a result, they see cyber risks as something for the company as a whole and not just an IT issue. This point comes through again in the high proportion of outperformers that encourage internal and external collaboration to mitigate risks.

It's also interesting that over 50% of outperformers strongly believe their employees have adequate digital skills to cope with the interconnected world. This is in stark contrast to average performers at under 10%. Employee skills are one of the core ingredients in defending against cyber-attack if they are digitally aware. Otherwise, they are one of the hackers’ best weapons.

Openness to innovation

Outperformers also proved to be forward-looking. For example, they are eager to invest in digital interconnection technology. This indicates they understand the importance of interconnectedness and are embracing the change. They are also more interested than their peers in flexible insurance solutions based on digital interconnection technology.

Furthermore, over 60% of outperformers have specific cyber insurance cover, which outstrips the average performers by about 20%. That suggests outperformers may have a better idea of their cyber exposure and therefore know which risks they wish to transfer.

To conclude, the outperformers encourage a collaborative approach to cyber risk management. Moreover, they support employee training and are prepared to adapt and consider new products to equip themselves better for operating in a digital environment.

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