A cyber attack major potentially as costly as a hurricane
A cyber attack major potentially as costly as a hurricane
Insurance companies 'must adapt to threat of cyberattacks'
17 July, 2017, 20:08
A major global cyber attack could cause an average of $53 billion (£40 billion) of economic damage, according to new research from Lloyd's of London.
In a 56 page report the insurance market said that the threat of cyber-attacks had spiralled in recent years and now posed a serious threat to both businesses and governments.
However it said in the cloud service disruption scenario, because of the uncertainty around aggregating cyber losses, this figure could be as high as $121bn, or as low as $15bn.
Operating system hacking can incur losses between $9.7 billion and $28.7 billion, says the Lloyds report.
According to the report, the average cost of such an attack could range anywhere from US$4.6 billion to US$53 billion, depending on the size of the event.
Insurers are struggling to estimate their potential exposure to cyber-related losses amid mounting cyber risks and interest in cyber insurance.
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The WannaCry fiasco, which infected a large number of computer systems in over 100 countries recorded a loss of around $8 billion, according to Cyence. Reuters notes most companies lack information frameworks they can rely on to assess their clients' risk profiles and make base assumptions, a significant problem for an industry which thrives on data.
Inga Beale, Lloyd's chief executive, said: "Just like some of the worst natural catastrophes, cyber events can cause a severe impact on businesses and economies, trigger multiple claims and dramatically increase insurers' claims costs". NotPetya was significantly less costly - globally, it cost organizations US$850 million. The financial and reputational cost in terms of business interruption and remediation can be substantial.
The Lloyds of London / Cyence hypothetical cyberattack looks like this: hackers inject a piece of malicious code into a cloud provider's software.
The losses could come from a wide-ranging assault on their cloud service provider that causes failure for their own company, customers and suppliers, Lloyd's warns today. But actual losses could be as high as $121 billion, the report said.
The threat of cyber attacks continues to rise, and in response so to is demand for cyber coverage and the desire among insurers and reinsurers to develop adequate, affordable and effective cyber risk solutions. More worryingly, the report states that as much as $45 billion of that sum may not be covered by cyber policies due to companies not investing enough in appropriate insurance policies.
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