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AIG was delighted to be a key sponsor of the EEF’s flagship conference, and support manufacturers of all sizes as they look to grow in what is a challenging environment at home.  Through the recent EEF Executive Survey we saw that while many manufacturers are planning on improved trading conditions in the year ahead, it is overseas growth that is the focus, more than domestic.  Listening to many of the speeches, workshops and keynotes we understood how this opportunity of overseas growth also needs to be viewed with an understanding of the key risks that could affect that growth.  For example, trading, exporting and setting up international offices all come with their own challenges for companies experiencing unfamiliar markets.  Our trade credit experts spent time talking to manufacturers about issues such insuring against bad debts and ensuring efficient use of working capital via trade financing.  At this stage of the economic cycle risks to mitigate bad debt should be given particular focus within companies. 

A large area of focus for us was around the ever present and growing threat of cyber risk. We were well represented here by Martin Overton, our cyber specialist who participated in two AIG sponsored workshops on cyber risk: How Cyber Secure is your business?  The number of attendees suggested a healthy mix of both interest and concern in the subject area! Watch a replay of the workshop here

Martin also talked specifically about supply chain risk within cyber in a ‘speaker’s corner’ slot.  Some of his key points are as follows:

  • Exposure does not just relate to suppliers and business partners; if your service providers, whether IT, finance, marketing related, or others, including those in the cloud get hit, the impact on your organisation maybe considerable
  • Undertake due diligence on your suppliers and third parties – understand where their risks are, and ensure they address them
  • Don’t forget the basics; hackers will test your infrastructure to assess vulnerability.
    • harden the configurations of your systems, and test them
    • identify and safeguard your key assets (crown jewels)
    • patch your systems and applications, otherwise you may suffer a breach
    • stop password re-use and implement second tiers of authentication (2FA/MFA)
    • back up your data and systems, store offsite, and test to ensure they work
    • create or refine an incident response plan, and test it
    • understand that security is everybody’s responsibility; train and test your staff

Looking back we were delighted to be part of a very well attended and energized conference.  As manufacturers adapt to changing marketplaces the right risk preparation and insurance can help provide the confidence to enable sustainable growth. AIG is ready to work with your business in this fast moving area.