Privacy/Data Security Remains the No. 1 Personal Risk Concerning Mid-Market CEOs

AttitudesThe majority of CEOs responding to the latest “personal risk” survey stated that privacy/data security is their No. 1 risk, rating it 6.6 out of 10. Fifteen percent more CEOs chose this as their chief risk today than did three months ago. Liability threats and geopolitical/terrorism were the next most important concerns (rated 4.3 and 4.2 out of 10, respectively). CEOs expressed the least amount of concern for physical threats (home invasion, kidnapping, etc.) and from risk of physical damage caused by natural disasters, rating them 3.6 and 3.4, respectively.

“Risk to personal data is a matter of the measured risk versus the cost in dollars, time, inconvenience,” one CEO responded. “Not all data should be evaluated at the same risk level. Tailor your mitigation to the risk.”

The survey is conducted by Chief Executive, in partnership with PURE Insurance.

Personal-RisksCEOs felt most comfortable with their ability to protect themselves and their families from physical damage and natural disasters, rating their comfort level 7.6 out of 10, compared with 7.3 for liability threats (such as lawsuits) and 6.9 for physical threats to themselves and their families. CEOs rated their comfort with being able to mitigate geopolitical/terrorism risk at 5.9. They were least comfortable with their ability to protect themselves and their families from privacy/security threats, rating their comfort level 5.5 out of 10.

CEO-ActionsThe majority of CEO respondents take some type of precaution to protect themselves and their families from privacy/data security risk, with “updating security software on computers” (76 percent) the most popular measure taken. Next came “keeping passwords secure and varying them by site,” followed by “having sophisticated passwords” (71.9 percent).

Chief Executive magazine (published since 1977) is the definitive source that CEOs turn to for insight and ideas that help increase their effectiveness and grow their business. Chief Executive Group also produces e-newsletters and online content at and manages Chief Executive Network and other executive peer groups, as well as conferences and roundtables that enable top corporate officers to discuss key subjects and share their experiences within a community of peers. Chief Executive facilitates the annual “CEO of the Year,” a prestigious honor bestowed upon an outstanding corporate leader, nominated and selected by a group of peers, and is known throughout the U.S. and elsewhere for its annual ranking of Best & Worst States for Business. Visit for more information.