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Chubb Survey Reveals Significant Perception Gap in Cyber Awareness among Hong Kong SMEs
• 71% of SMEs in Hong Kong have experienced a cyber error or cyber attack in the past 12 months
• Majority of cyber incidents are caused by internal factors
Jan 25, 2019

HONG KONG, 17 January 2019A survey conducted by Chubb of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Hong Kong SAR has revealed a significant perception gap in cyber awareness among Hong Kong SMEs and how well they are prepared to deal with it.

Half the respondents (52%) in Hong Kong SAR believe they are less vulnerable to cyber incidents than their larger competitors; yet 71% of SMEs in Hong Kong SAR have experienced a cyber error or cyber attack in the last 12 months.

The findings also show that majority of cyber incidents which occurred over the past year were mainly due to internal factors, such as data loss through system malfunction or technical fault (28%), business interruption from system malfunction or technical fault (26%), and human error causing business interruption or data loss (22%).

“Some SMEs believe they are too small to be targeted by cyber criminals or any internal issues will not greatly impact them. In effect, they think they are “too small to fail”. However, our own claims data highlights numerous small business compromises and ransomware events that are decimating the cash flow of small businesses,” said Andrew Taylor, Cyber Underwriting Manager, Chubb Asia Pacific.

He continued, “In fact, smaller companies have a relatively larger exposure, as they face the same threats that larger businesses face but do not have the means to implement comprehensive protection, leaving significant risk uncovered.”

Overconfidence in managing a cyber incident?

Chubb’s survey, “Too small to fail?”, reveals that most SMEs are confident in their ability to overcome a breach following a cyber attack. In Hong Kong SAR, 77% of the respondents believe they can overcome a breach, with the majority (65%) believing they can contain a breach within 12 hours. This seeming overconfidence is contradicted by other findings namely:

  • 52% believe they are not aware of all the cyber threats they face.
  • 21% of SMEs who experienced cyber incidents did not know which data files were affected.


Cyber insurance – a lack of understanding

The survey also uncovered a lack of understanding of cyber insurance with 49% of SMEs in Hong Kong SAR not fully understanding the insurance solutions available while 53% have never purchased cyber insurance before.

Stanley Wong, President for Chubb’s general insurance operations in Hong Kong SAR, Taiwan & Macau SAR added, “More than just paying claims, we strongly believe in helping clients reduce risk at the outset. Hence, Chubb is committed to promote awareness of exposure to cyber losses, share our risk management expertise and encourage companies to invest in risk prevention. Clients can avail themselves to our Incident Response Platform which helps contain threats and limits potential damage to business, and most importantly, learn from the incident.”

Visit Chubb’s website for more details:


About the Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey

This report, Too Small to Fail? Chubb SME Cyber Preparedness Survey, has been produced by Chubb in collaboration with YouGov. It is based on a survey of 1,000 respondents from Small and Medium Enterprises in three markets; 400 from Australia, and 300 each from Hong Kong SAR and Singapore. Respondents comprised board-level executives (77%) and senior managers or directors below board level (23%) from SMEs with between 2 to 249 employees. The industries respondents belonged to are: Professional Services (22%), Manufacturing (17%), Retail & Hospitality (13%), Education (6%), Financial Services (6%), Healthcare (5%), Technology (5%), Media & Communications (3%); and other industries (23%).


About Chubb in Hong Kong

Chubb is the world's largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance company. With operations in 54 countries and territories, Chubb provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident and supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. As an underwriting company, we assess, assume and manage risk with insight and discipline. We service and pay our claims fairly and promptly. The company is also defined by its extensive product and service offerings, broad distribution capabilities, exceptional financial strength and local operations globally. Parent company Chubb Limited is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: CB) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Chubb maintains executive offices in Zurich, New York, London and other locations, and employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide.

With both general and life insurance operations, Chubb has been present in Hong Kong for more than 90 years via acquisitions by its predecessor companies. Its general insurance operation in Hong Kong (Chubb Insurance Hong Kong Limited) is a niche and specialist general insurer offering products such as Property, Casualty, Marine, as well as Accident & Health programs for large corporates, midsized commercial and small business customers. The AA- long term insurer financial strength and counterparty credit ratings by Standard & Poor’s are indicative of the company’s strong capitalisation. Over the years, the company has built strong client relationships by offering responsive service, developing innovative products and providing market leadership built on financial strength.

More information can be found at


Media Contacts

Veronica Yuen
Chubb Insurance Hong Kong Limited
T: +852 3191 6866

Amy Shea
MHP Communications
T: +852 3114 6337