Chief Risk Managers have a tough job, constantly evaluating different risks in a fast changing world, and its a job where you don’t want to fail. As we saw with the previous blog entry and the Allianz Risk Barometer report, Risk Managers have to consider all risks to the profitability or even existence of the organisation. So, it is very interesting to hear how Risk Managers from Europe’s top 100 companies think about the priority of cyber risk and more especially the risk from data being held in the cloud.

At the the SR100LIVE event in London, Risk Managers listed their top risks associated with the cloud as 1) concerns around corporate data loss and the associated reputation risk, followed by 2) supply chain threats and 3) human risks.

One of the biggest barriers to protecting against corporate data loss and the associated reputation risk is a lack of understanding of the cloud and the extent of its usage in the organization. Risk managers admitted they are struggling to grasp the basics of cloud deployment in their business, let alone being to manage the risks themselves. The general consensus is that companies need a clear framework to ensure employees and sub-contractors have adequate systems and training to safeguard company data.

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Some choice quotes from the attendees:

  • “For me, the cloud is a big black hole of uncertainty.”
  • “Its about elevating this as a business risk and it’s continually misunderstood in my experience. The risk with [data loss] is the reputation of the company.”
  • “One major breach could be catastrophic”
  • “What people need to do is a proper risk assessment. You need to know how much you could lose for it to be [just] embarrassing, if we lose this it’ll be critical and if we lose this, we’ll be dead.”
  • “I ask younger team members to look at the cloud … because they seem to be able to get their heads around it a bit more.”
  • “We don’t have a good handle on the amount of cloud in use, I’m not sure that even IT know”

The full report together with Five Suggested Steps to Address Cloud Security Needs is available here.

StrategicRISK is a publication providing risk and corporate governance news to corporations across Europe, the Middle East and Asia and we thank them for their involvement, organisation and report.