Report by Lloyd's says global cyber attack could cost $120bn
A global cyber attack could cost as much as $120bn - more than natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina - according to a new report by Lloyd's of London.
The report comes after recent prolific attacks such as the ransomware WannaCry that hit the NHS in the UK in early May, as well as a Petya attack that disabled most of Ukraine's infrastructure.
Shipping giant Maersk and Russian oil producers Rosneft were also hit by the ransomware attack in June, whilst it is estimated to have cost Reckitt Benckiser around £100m.
Lloyd's says that a cloud service provider is the most likely target for a hack, with estimates saying that such an attack would cost around $53bn as an average.
That figure, however, could range between $15bn and $121bn depending on the severity of the attack and the scale of cyber losses.
Issues arise due to the lack of insurance for cyber-attacks, according to Lloyd's. Chief executive Inga Beale says that the report "gives a real sense of the scale of damage a cyber-attack could cause the global economy."
"Global cyber events can cause a severe impact on businesses and economies, trigger multiple claims and dramatically increase insurers’ claims costs, much like a natural disaster can."
WannaCry falls into the second most likely cyber-attack - one that targets an operating system used by a number of businesses. A weakness in the retired Microsoft XP OS saw hackers able to exploit the system and encrypt files whilst demanding $300 in bitcoin.
Trevor Maynard, who co-authored the report and is Lloyd's head of innovation, identified that financial services are the most at risk from cyber-crime, with software and technology, healthcare, hospitality and retail following closely behind.
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