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A major cyber attack could cost as much as a natural disaster, Lloyd’s warns

A single cyber attack could cost the global economy as much as the most devastating natural disasters, Lloyds of London has warned.

In a new report researchers model the economic and actual losses of a hypothetical and far-reaching attack launched via the cloud.

They say the strike would cost an average of $53bn in economic losses – equivalent to Hurricane Sandy – and $120bn in actual losses – on a par with Hurricane Katrina.

“This report gives a real sense of the scale of damage a cyber-attack could cause the global economy,” said Lloyd’s CEO Inga Beale.

“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.”

Cyber attacks have risen up the C-suite’s list of priorities in recent months, with strikes on hospitals, utility firms and universities making headlines.