Credit ratings increasingly looking at cybersecurity

U.S. companies face a wide array of issues potentially impacting their ability to borrow money. In recent months, a banking crisis and high interest rates have stretched some companies thin, leading to layoffs and decreases in spending.

At the same time, credit rating agencies, which assess companies’ ability to pay back borrowed money, are increasingly factoring in cybersecurity as part of their credit assessment criteria as they try to get a handle on the risks companies face.

Companies are dedicating more resources to protecting their assets because the potential risk that cyberattacks have against their credit is “real and significant,” said Scott Kessler, the global sector lead for technology, media and telecommunications at Third Bridge, an investment research firm.

Despite an uncertain global economic backdrop, Kessler consistently sees companies devoting resources toward cybersecurity.

  • “It’s almost a requirement now to have certain protections in place to ensure your valuable assets are safeguarded,” he said.

To be sure, cybersecurity is still a small piece of the puzzle for credit rating agencies, and boosting cyber defenses is not always the top issue on many corporate executives’ minds. But experts say that companies need to be focused on cybersecurity as they try to mitigate risks — and assure lenders that they’re doing so.

Source: Washington Post

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