The Emerging Risks Initiative of the Chief Risk Officers Forum is pleased to announce the publication of a new position paper called Critical Information Infrastructure. In industrialised societies, computers are interconnected to form a complex communication mesh, characterised by common hubs servicing dispersed users. This interconnectivity is called “network infrastructure”. The rapid transmission and processing of data, using network infrastructure, is critical to the well being of both producers and consumers. Network failure has the potential for serious economic and social impacts.

The purpose of this paper is to raise awareness of the issues created by critical information infrastructure. It is intended primarily for an insurance, reinsurance and risk management audience and sets out to delineate current knowledge, as a primer for individual practitioner’s own research and development. Where possible, the authors have identified opportunities for the advancement of expertise. These include opportunities to link with Government sponsored initiatives, as well as opportunities to pioneer the development of new capabilities and solutions.

We hope you will find this paper both informative and helpful in managing Critical Information Infrastructure risks.

As important representatives of the risk community, the Chief Risk Officers of major (re)insurance companies have decided to address the challenge of terrorism within the CRO Forum’s Emerging Risks Initiative and, by communicating their view on terrorism, to enter into dialogue with major stakeholders. The new position paper also contains a comprehensive overview of terrorism coverage offered in the majority of cases by property, liability, workers’ compensation, life and health insurers in the context of pool or backstop solutions in individual countries.

The CRO Emerging Risks Initiative was launched in 2005 to raise awareness of major emerging risks relevant to society and the (re)insurance industry. The initiative is currently chaired by RSA and consists of ten members representing AIG, Allianz, AXA, Hannover Re, Munich Re, Swiss Re, Zurich Financial Services as well as Chubb, Insurance Australia Group and RSA.