In today’s world, cyber attacks have the potential to create as much havoc as a natural disaster.
This point was illustrated quite perfectly with Lloyd’s of London’s recent report which stated that a cyberattack has the capability of leaving a $120bn hole in the economy. That is almost as calamitous as the destruction left behind by Hurricane Katrina a few years ago.
Insurance Companies Warn of Cyber Attacks
A report published by the insurance companies with the help of risk-modeling firm Cyence, stated that the cyber-attacks are getting out of control and can cost a lot to the government and businesses in the next few years. This report was published after the cyber-attack which shook the NHS hospitals in the UK to its core.
The insurance companies are hoping to come up with estimates about how much these cyber attacks could cost, due to the lack of historical records about such attacks in the first place.
However, Lloyd stated that it is most likely that an attack which disrupts a cloud service will cause damage that amounts to $53bn. This is a rough estimate and in the worst case, the losses can go as high as $121bn.
“Because cyber is virtual, it is such a difficult task to understand how it will accumulate in a big event,” Lloyd’s of London Chief Executive Inga Beale said in an interview.
Cyence created a hypothetical scenario to study the problem. According to their scenario, the attackers uploaded a malware in the cloud which would stay dormant for a year. During this time, the malware would have the chance to download itself to all the computers which are going to be connected to the cloud and a year later it would crash all the systems. This will cause disruption in all the businesses connected to that cloud server.
According to them, a disruption like this could range from $4.6 billion to $53 billion at the extreme.
An Example Case: NotPetya
In June of this year, a virus named ‘NotPetya’ spread from Ukraine to countries all around the world. It caused disturbances to a huge number of businesses.
NotPetya started encrypting the data on the machines it touched making them useless. This disrupted activity in law firms, factories, hospitals etc. The damage caused by NotPetya to the economy was $850 million according to Cyence.
With instances like this popping up more frequently, strong security is the need of the hour.