Lloyds: cyberattacks pose huge threat to global economy

A global cyberattack could have similar affects as a natural disaster on the economy.

According to a 56-page report called Counting the cost: Cyber exposure decoded by Lloyd’s of London, global cyberattacks pose a huge risk to governments and businesses, resulting between US$4.6billion and US$53billion in economic losses.

Designed to cause systems to crash in businesses operating systems, attackers push malicious codes into cloud provider software globally.

The malware then spreads among cloud provider customers, pushing losses to US$121billion, similarly to the natural disaster, Hurricane Katrina, which pushed losses to US$108billion in 2005.

Both scenarios raised concerns, with the WannaCry ransomware attack in May this year impacting hospitality, retail and healthcare.

David Emm, Principal Security Researcher, Kaspersky Lab said: “These are big numbers, but they don’t mean much unless terms such as ‘serious cyber-attack’ are quantified. How can we assess the global cost of an attack? It could mean anything from a temporary interruption of service to the takeover of customer systems – with very different costs.

“It’s important for companies to conduct their own risk assessment and develop a strategy that’s designed to secure corporate systems and mitigate the risk of an attack on those systems.”

According to ComputerWeekly, ‘an initial £21million of capital funding will be targeted at strengthening the cyber resilience of major trauma sites as an immediate priority, and improving NHS Digital’s national monitoring and response capabilities.’

“This report gives a real sense of the scale of damage a cyber-attack could cause the global economy. 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. Underwriters need to consider cyber cover in this way and ensure that premium calculations keep pace with the cyber threat reality,” added Inga Beala, Lloyd’s CEO.

The report also stated that average losses from operating systems crashing worldwide varied from US$9.7billion to US$28.7billion, with US$26billion not being covered by insurance.

Written by Leah Alger