News Releases

ACE Survey Shows Data Loss is Top Operational Risk Threat
Mar 16, 2007

LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--One in three global businesses see loss of data as a significant threat and the key issue to address in operational risk management planning, according to the latest global risk briefing report conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and sponsored by ACE European Group (ACE).

The survey of 181 senior executives and risk professionals revealed that loss of data was the most important consideration in terms of operational risk, with over 40% saying their organisation focused more on loss of data than other issues - including systems failure, human error and even natural disasters.

The results mark a growing risk management trend towards a greater emphasis on the operational impact of data loss. Commenting on the report, Gareth Tungatt, Senior Underwriter specialising in IT and Cyber Risk at ACE said: The survey shows that risk managers clearly understand the value of data and, increasingly, are focusing on its associated losses.

Tungatt continued: I see this report as providing the evidence to show that more businesses are looking ahead in terms of their business continuity planning. Seventy one per cent of those questioned said that they have increased the time and resources they dedicate to focusing on their business continuity programmes.

The survey showed that over half of respondents think that the volume and severity of operational risks have increased in the last three years but reassuringly, a similar number were confident that their businesss operational risk planning would successfully manage areas such as risk assessment and quantification.

When asked about the business impact of poor planning, 43% of respondents identified reputational damage as the main threat. However, only 19% said loss of revenue. Tungatt commentedThe apparent lower level of fear about loss of revenue is a concern. Based on the surveys findings exposure to financial losses is expected to increase so it is clear that businesses should be doing a lot more than they currently are to counter the financial implications of data loss.

Products such as ACEs Dataguard cover have been developed to provide protection against such losses and risk managers should be considering these to mitigate potential business failure.

Notes to editors:

ACE Dataguard

Dataguard is an innovative ACE policy which provides first-party coverage for losses, including business interruption, arising from computer network security breaches, viruses, or simple loss of data due to human error or telecommunications failure. It is applicable to a wide range of industries, including Financial Services, e-commerce, outsourcing, logistics, retail, and any other firm dependent upon the operation of their computer systems or IT network to operate.


Part of the ACE Group of Companies, ACE European Group has established branch offices in 17 countries across Europe, Freedom of Services permission to provide insurance services to clients in 27 EEA countries and affiliates in Egypt, Bahrain, Pakistan and Russia.

ACE European Group comprises the operations of ACE Europe, ACE Global Markets and ACE Tempest Re Group. ACE Europe provides a range of tailored Property and Casualty, Accident and Health and Personal Lines solutions for a diverse range of clients. ACE Global Markets (AGM) is ACEs specialty international business, underwriting through ACEs Lloyds Syndicate 2488 and ACE European Group Limited. Specialty lines include excess and surplus lines business, Marine, Aviation, Energy and Political Risk as well as Property, Financial Lines and Accident and Health. Additional information on ACE European Group can be found

The ACE Group of Companies is a global leader in insurance and reinsurance serving a diverse group of clients. Headed by ACE Limited (NYSE:ACE), a component of the Standard & Poors 500 stock index, the ACE Group conducts its business on a worldwide basis with operating subsidiaries in more than 50 countries. Additional information can be found at:

About the research

The Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 181 executives around the world in January 2007 about their attitudes to operating risk management in the context of business resilience. The survey and paper was sponsored by ACE, IBM and KPMG.

Respondents represent a wide range of industries and regions, with roughly one-third each from Asia and Australasia, North America and Western Europe. Approximately 60% of respondents represent businesses with annual revenue of US$500m. All respondents have influence over, or responsibility for, strategic decisions on risk management at their companies.



Miles Russell, Communications Director
Tel. + 44 (0) 20 7173 7578