Over the past few years, it's been clear that cyber security is more important than ever. Recently, for example, Equifax announced that it was the subject of a cyber attack that may affect as many as 143 million U.S. consumers. In a statement, Equifax admitted that intruders accessed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, address and driver's license numbers as well as credit card numbers for about 209,000 consumers. The event, which also affected U.K. and Canadian consumers, has caused many to react with anger while others are resigned to such a data breach as a way of life.

In response to the heightened awareness of cyber risk at all levels and in all industries, companies are developing benchmarks and best practices, and they're requiring employees to adhere to those best practices, too. Risk managers, along with IT professionals and others, are creating successful programs to keep their organizations safe from cyber threats, meeting their critical responsibility. Even the boards of directors of many companies are focusing on data breaches, cyber security and the potential for large losses — not to mention the damage to the company's reputation.

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Rosalie Donlon

Rosalie Donlon is the editor in chief of ALM's insurance and tax publications, including NU Property & Casualty magazine and NU PropertyCasualty360.com. You can contact her at [email protected].