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Latest Directors’ liability survey points to cyber and data loss as top risks facing senior managers

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Page Joanna
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Emma Waters



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26 November 2018

Allen & Overy, in conjunction with Willis Towers Watson, the global risk advisory and insurance broker, has launched its sixth annual Directors’ liability report – “D&O: Personal Exposure to Global Risk” – which outlines the changing risk culture affecting senior management.

According to the survey, cyber attack and data loss/breach top the list of risks which are causing the directors most concern.  Risk of cyber attack and data loss have now overtaken regulatory and other investigations as the most concerning for directors.  

The report explores further the increased concern of cyber and data breach, as well as:


Some additional key findings include:

Table Directors.jpg 

Joanna Page, Partner and Head of A&O’s Insurance Litigation group commented:

Seven years on from the launch of our first report focusing on directors’ liabilities we can clearly see that conditions have become increasingly challenging for company directors.  

High-ranking individuals in public and privately-held corporations face unprecedented scrutiny and bear the brunt of global enforcement efforts by regulators to combat corporate failings.  

For the first time, we see concerns dominated by the threats of cyber-attack and data loss – fears that are not new but are rapidly moving up the agenda.”

Francis Kean, Executive Director, Willis Towers Watson said:

It is no surprise to see cyber as the top risk.  The advent of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation was the most significant change in data privacy regulation and has only added another layer of complexity to an already challenging cyber environment. 

It is essential that companies look at employee behaviour and human error as well as IT functions in order to mitigate cyber threats.  

Senior managers must adopt a continuous assessment strategy, one that focuses on the overall culture of engagement, talent preparedness and the role of technology and risk transfer.” 

To download the report, click here​.

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