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Major cyber attack could trigger losses of £40.5bn, says Lloyd's

17 July 2017, 08:06 | Patty Hardy

Major cyber attack could trigger losses of £40.5bn, says Lloyd's

Major cyber attack could trigger losses of £40.5bn, says Lloyd's

The report likened the cost of a major cyberattack to Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly storm in history, which caused damage of between $50 billion and $70 billion to the northeastern United States five years ago.

That's according to noted banking group Lloyd's of London, which teamed up with risk-modelling firm Cyence to look at several potential cyber-attack disaster scenarios.

For the uninsured gap, losses could be as much as $45bn for the cloud services scenario - meaning less than a fifth (17 per cent) of the economic losses are actually covered by insurance.

With an uptick in cyberattacks across the world, from WannaCry to Petya ransomware, a new report from banking heavyweight Lloyds of London warns just how vulnerable the US economy could be in the event of an extreme attack.

The report comes two months after the WannaCry ransomware attack that disrupted NHS services and spread to more than 100 countries, and the more recent NotPetya malware that damaged the computer systems of a number of major companies internationally.

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Operating system hacking can incur losses between $9.7 billion and $28.7 billion, says the Lloyds report. "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", Lloyd's of London Chief Executive Inga Beale said in a statement. What makes it even more challenging is a lack of historical data on which insurers can base their assumptions. This mostly involved business interruptions and computer repairs.

In June, a global wave of cyberattacks that began in Russian Federation and Ukraine and spread to western Europe and across the Atlantic wrought havoc on government and corporate computer systems. NotPetya was significantly less costly - globally, it cost organizations US$850 million.

Among those identified are a malicious hack taking down a cloud service provider - this could cost anything between $15billion and $121billion.

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.

Lloyds has about one-quarter of the emerging area of cyber insurance and says risks are more hard to model than natural disasters due to the human element, which means underlying assumptions can change quickly.



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