Who Will Manage The Digital Risk & Rewards?

by Jay Deragon on 11/26/2012

There are emerging digital risk posed by the dynamics of the internet that are advancing on a daily basis. Every business is exposed to risk related to data, security, reputation, transparency  and a host of other tangible and intangible business risk.  While those who are aware of these issues are seeking wisdom, those who should be providing the wisdom have little to say about it.

A Google search for “digital risk” provides little reference to risk experts from insurance companies and large international brokers.  None seem to be actively involved in creating relevant conversations on these subjects never mind any thought leadership on the issues. While these subjects are urgent and important to the C-Suite and to shareholders the traditional suppliers of risk products and services seem to be void of engagement in the subject matter.

Companies of all sizes have struggled with digital risk, ranging from malicious intrusions to employee negligence. Half of all US companies that have experienced data breaches have fewer than 1,000 employees.  Yet data breaches and security are but just a few of the digital  risk. Big data, identity theft, reputation risk, intellectual property loss, confidentiality and anything that represents “data and media” has become the new list of growing but deadly risk of the digital era.  In response to the increasing dependence on digital technologies and associated risks, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued disclosure guidance, which recommended that public companies disclose, among other things, digital risk.

The emerging digital space appears to be the new risk frontier and much work needs to be done to discuss how organizations can assess, manage, mitigate and transfer the risk.  It seems ironic that while the suppliers haven’t aggressively taken the lead in helping their customers manage the risk of digital many, if not all, have jumped on the social marketing bandwagon.

Aon, Marsh and Willis, the dominate worldwide brokers, are all using some form of social marketing.  Aon,  won People’s Choice Social Media Marketing Award From BtoB Magazine earlier this year. Willis launched “Willis Wire”, an aggregated blog providing insights into traditional risk issues and Marsh used social marketing to relaunch it’s brand earlier this year.   Insurance companies are also following form with social marketing campaigns.  While adopting social marketing few of the risk suppliers, if any, have even begun to identify their own digital risk and none are engaged in creating solutions to the digital risk their customers are facing.

The opportunity for existing “risk management” suppliers to lead the conversations about digital risk are significant.  Doing so would create real value for a marketplace looking for answers. The open questions is who will reap the rewards for doing so?


{ 1 comment }

John November 26, 2012 at 1:58 pm

Jay, traditional risk management suppliers may not be the best solution. Insurance brokers primarily derive their revenue by selling insurance products. Treating the myriad of complex risks that you mention in your article requires mix of options starting with a strategic approach to the various issues including opportunities.

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