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With network security top of mind, businesses are nearly two times more concerned with losing private data (47 percent ) than hackers disrupting their systems (26 percent), according to the 2016 Network Security and Data Privacy Study, released today by Wells Fargo Insurance, part of Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC). Misuse of technology among employees also emerged as a new, growing threat (seven percent), while network viruses and disruption of operations fell slightly to less than 10 percent from 2015.
The study also found that there is a growing need for companies to improve employee education and training on data security. Two in 10 companies do not have an employee awareness training program, while 15 percent don’t require any training for employees.
“It’s surprising that businesses are not more concerned with employee misuse of technology —what I like to call the human factor,” said Dena Cusick, national practice leader with Wells Fargo Insurance’s Technology, Privacy and Network Risk National Practice (PDF). “Cyber risk management is first and foremost about education. Informing and regularly training employees on security protocols and incident response plans is critical for businesses today.”
The study revealed the top eight network security and data privacy concerns among businesses this year:
1. Loss of data – 47% (45% in 2015)
2. Hackers – 26% (25% in 2015)
3. Security breaches – 26% (20% in 2015)
4. Maintaining reputation – 9% (4% in 2015)
5. Viruses – 7% (10% in 2015)
6. Software vulnerabilities – 7% (7% in 2015)
7. Employee misuse of technology – 7% (0% in 2015)
8. Other – 7% (13% in 2015)
In addition to network and data breaches, companies face another imminent threat— imposter fraud, a new twist on phishing scams where a fraudster gains access to the email account of a company’s senior executive and then requests that a payment be made to a specific bank account. One in five large companies surveyed has been a target, and the incidence is even higher for companies with more than 2,000 employees or $500 million or more in revenue. Of those victimized, many of the businesses suffered a financial loss, which was often more than $500k.
“Every organization, regardless of size, needs to make cybersecurity a priority within their business,” added Meredith Schnur, senior vice president of the professional risk practice at Wells Fargo Insurance. “I handle five-to-10 incidents each week from clients who are not well-known brands. No organization is immune.”
The second-annual Network Security and Data Privacy Study analyzed trends of network security and data privacy issues among 100 decision makers at companies with $100 million or more in annual revenue.
About the Wells Fargo Insurance Technology, Privacy and Network Security Practice
Wells Fargo’s Technology, Privacy and Network Risk National Practice (TPN) (PDF) helps customers with professional liability, technology errors and omissions, media liability, network security, and privacy related lines of coverage. TPN brokers provide consultative services, market negotiations, policy analysis and placement, policy administration, claims advocacy services, and assist with loss control initiatives.
About Wells Fargo Insurance
Named one of the top 10 insurance brokers in the U.S. by Business Insurance , Wells Fargo Insurance provides solutions for a wide range of customers, including retail consumers, high net worth individuals, small businesses, as well as middle market and large corporate customers. Wells Fargo Insurance writes or places $11 billion of risk premiums annually in property, casualty, benefits, international and personal lines.
 2016 Ranking includes Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc., Wells Fargo Insurance, Inc., and Rural Community Insurance Company
About Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.9 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 8,600 locations, 13,000 ATMs, the internet (wellsfargo.com) and mobile banking, and has offices in 36 countries and territories to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With approximately 268,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 27 on Fortune’s 2016 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at Wells Fargo Blogs and Wells Fargo Stories.
This material is for informational purposes and is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussions or opinions be construed as legal advice. Contact your broker for insurance advice, tax professional for tax advice, or legal counsel for legal advice regarding your particular situation.
Products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Insurance Services USA, Inc., a non-bank insurance agency affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company, and are underwritten by unaffiliated insurance companies. Some services require additional fees and may be offered directly through third-party providers. Banking and insurance decisions are made independently and do not influence each other.