A state-sponsored cyber attack could cause economic damage on a scale equal to Covid-19, overwhelming the insurance industry and requiring the Government to step in to cover the losses, the chairman of Lloyd’s of London has warned.
一本道理不卡一二三区Bruce Carnegie-Brown said it would be a good idea for any government-backed programme to address future pandemic risk to include a mechanism to deal with rare but catastrophic events such as a large cyber attack. He said: “The cyber insurance market is relatively new. It’s fast-growing, but it’s quite small. Most businesses, and indeed individuals, are not protected for cyber risk in the UK.
“You could easily see that having a similar impact [to Covid-19] on the UK economy … if very significant parts of the economy were taken down by some kind of a cyber intervention.”
A devastating cyber attack in 2017 caused havoc in the NHS and cost £92m to fix. Insurance bosses have already formed a steering committee to propose a scheme backed by government to cover the costs of future pandemics beyond what their firms can afford.
Stephen Catlin, its chairman, said he hoped to hammer out the outline of a structure within three months. Six working groups involving 90 people will begin detailed planning this week. Mr Carnegie-Brown said it would take longer to devise a system covering extra risks such as cyber attacks, meaning insurers may opt to deal with pandemics on a stand-alone basis first.
一本道理不卡一二三区It would be advantageous if the £6bn of surplus capital in the existing government-backed Pool Re scheme, which is currently ring-fenced for losses caused by terrorism, could be used more flexibly to cover other risks, he added.
Mr Catlin, the boss of commercial insurer Convex, said the industry was focused on addressing future pandemics but that the solutions being considered could apply to other events that cause economic loss “way above the ability of the industry to pay”.
一本道理不卡一二三区It would be sensible to require insurers to absorb as great a first loss as possible and for governments to step in to cover the additional costs, he said.