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December 1, 2021updated 24 Dec 2021 6:53am

Filings buzz in the packaging industry: 95% increase in cybersecurity mentions since Q2 of 2020

By Andrew Hillman

Mentions of cybersecurity within the filings of companies in the packaging industry rose 32% between the first and second quarters of 2021.

In total, the frequency of sentences related to cybersecurity between July 2020 and June 2021 was 162% higher than in 2016 when GlobalData, from whom our data for this article is taken, first began to track the key issues referred to in company filings.

When companies in the packaging industry publish annual and quarterly reports, ESG reports and other filings, GlobalData analyses the text and identifies individual sentences that relate to disruptive forces facing companies in the coming years. Cybersecurity is one of these topics - companies that excel and invest in these areas are thought to be better prepared for the future business landscape and better equipped to survive unforeseen challenges.

To assess whether cybersecurity is featuring more in the summaries and strategies of companies in the packaging industry, two measures were calculated. Firstly, we looked at the percentage of companies which have mentioned cybersecurity at least once in filings during the past twelve months - this was 83% compared to 75% in 2016. Secondly, we calculated the percentage of total analysed sentences that referred to cybersecurity.

Of the 30 biggest employers in the packaging industry, Westrock Co was the company which referred to cybersecurity the most between July 2020 and June 2021. GlobalData identified 57 cybersecurity-related sentences in the United States-based company's filings - 0.9% of all sentences. Mondi plc mentioned cybersecurity the second most - the issue was referred to in 0.4% of sentences in the company's filings. Other top employers with high cybersecurity mentions included Avery Dennison Corp, O-I Glass Inc and AptarGroup Inc.

Across all companies in the packaging industry the filing published in the second quarter of 2021 which exhibited the greatest focus on cybersecurity came from Viscofan SA. Of the document's 3,146 sentences, 14 (0.4%) referred to cybersecurity.

This analysis provides an approximate indication of which companies are focusing on cybersecurity and how important the issue is considered within the packaging industry, but it also has limitations and should be interpreted carefully. For example, a company mentioning cybersecurity more regularly is not necessarily proof that they are utilising new techniques or prioritising the issue, nor does it indicate whether the company's ventures into cybersecurity have been successes or failures.

GlobalData also categorises cybersecurity mentions by a series of subthemes. Of these subthemes, the most commonly referred to topic in the second quarter of 2021 was 'data security', which made up 83% of all cybersecurity subtheme mentions by companies in the packaging industry.

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