Under one-fifth of companies insured against cyber attacks

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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.

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.

Lloyd's chief executive Inga Beale said the report gave 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, triggering multiple claims and dramatically increasing insurers' claims costs, said Beale. "Underwriters need to consider cyber cover in this way and ensure that premium calculations keep pace with the cyber threat reality". And, in the most extreme cases, losses could rise to as much as $121bn. The WEF has called for building resilience as these risks become increasingly tangible.

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"Average economic losses caused by such a disruption could range from $4.6 billion to $53 billion for large to extreme events".

LLOYD'S OF LONDON has said a major cyberattack spanning the globe could cause governments, corporations and individuals to lose as much as US$53 billion on average, putting it on par with natural disasters such as 2012's Superstorm Sandy. Unlike traditional property insurance where aggregation is monitored by physical locations, cyber insurance aggregation can span connected systems that extend beyond physical geographies.

The analysis reveals that under the mass software vulnerability attack scenario, the cyber protection gap is between $8.9 billion for a large event and $26.6 billion for an extreme event, which means that just 7% of the economic losses are covered by insurance protection. And the average insured losses range from $762 million to $2.1 billion.

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. The underinsurance gap could be as high as Dollars 26 billion for the mass vulnerability scenario - meaning that just 7 percent of economic losses are covered. "Insurers could benefit from thinking about cyber cover in these terms and make explicit allowance for aggregating cyber-related catastrophes".

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