Lloyds of London: Cyber Attack Could Cause £40bn In Damage Worldwide

Judith Bessette
Julho 17, 2017

A major cyber attack could cost the global economy $53bn (£40bn), City stalwart Lloyd's of London has warned.

Under this scenario, attackers push malicious code into a cloud provider's software that is created to cause system crashes in operating systems used by businesses around the world in a year's time.

The report comes shortly after the NotPetya disaster, which saw a cyber-virus spread to businesses in more than 100 countries around the world.

The research also shows that, while demand for cyber insurance is increasing, the majority of such losses are not now insured, leaving an insurance gap of tens of billions of dollars. Just like some of the worst natural catastrophes, cyberevents can cause a severe impact on businesses and economies, trigger multiple claims and dramatically increase insurers' claims costs. "Global risks can only be effectively dealt with if there is a common understanding of their importance and interconnected nature, and a readiness to engage in multi-stakeholder dialogue and action".

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In this first scenario, average economic losses ranging between $ 4.6 billion for an important event and $ 53 billion for a major event. Lloyds said the figures are the average in the scenario, but that because of the uncertainty around aggregating cyber losses this figure could be as high as United States dollars 121 billion or as low as USD 15 billion. The cloud service disruption scenario figure could be as high as $121bn or as low as $15bn, according to the report.

The outcome - though there is largely a general lack of information on exactly how vulnerable insurers are - could be disastrous, easily dwarfing the US$8 billion total global cost companies all over the world incurred as a result of the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks.

In the mass software vulnerability scenario, the average losses range from $9.7 billion for a large event to $28.7 billion for an extreme event. The underinsurance gap could be as high as $26 billion for the mass vulnerability scenario-meaning that just seven per cent of economic losses are covered. "Underwriters need to consider cyber cover in this way and ensure that premium calculations keep pace with the cyber threat reality", said Inga Beale, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the specialist Lloyd's insurance and reinsurance marketplace. "Insurers could benefit from thinking about cyber cover in these terms and make explicit allowance for aggregating cyber-related catastrophes".

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