Hefty cost of cyber attacks on communities

No country is immune to cyber attacks and hacking of official and public institutions, which creates confusion and disruption in their daily operations, in addition to problems that occur in the work environment and communications.
Such hackings are currently witnessed in official media institutions of some countries, like the recent hacking of Qatar News Agency, orchestrated by hackers loyal to other countries, possibly in the region or abroad, who published fabricated and inaccurate material as real news, leading to the current political rift in the region which has affected all GCC states.
A new joint report issued by Lloyd’s, the world’s specialist insurance and reinsurance market, and Cyence, which analyses the risks of potential global cyber attacks, revealed that such hackings can cost nations economic losses worth $53 billion this year.
Such losses spell disaster for nations and institutions due to the failure affecting many operating systems of computers as well as private companies and institutions operating in various economic sectors.
Lloyd’s estimated these losses to cost global economic institutions $28.7 billion this year.
Despite losses inflicting countries and institutions, the report revealed that demand for e-insurance (cyber) against the damage of these attacks is on the rise, indicating a majority of these losses will affect non-insured companies at present, leaving a gap in current insurance amounting to tens of billions of dollars.
This has pushed institutions towards insuring their programmes through the use of state-of-the-art prevention tools on one hand, and secure their institutions from cyber attacks on the accounts, programmes and technologies they use in this respect.
Lloyd’s officials believe that the results of this report provide a realistic estimate of the size of damage that may be caused by cyber/electronic attacks on the global economy, which is similar to nature’s worst disasters caused by sudden major hurricanes.
Electronic and cyber attacks can cause extensive damage to companies and economies worldwide, and dealing with such attacks will be costlier than the insured value. Insurance companies also will have to keep up with developments in this respect because of those attacks, which might hit them one way or another, which requires them to understand these things in depth, and improve risk management to properly protect their operations.
Finally, the company believes that such potential attacks may cause overall economic losses ranging from $4.6 billion in cases of small attacks to $53 billion in advanced attacks. However, the value of losses in advanced cases may range from $12 to $121 billion, which requires insurance companies to play a greater role in the community’s awareness of all these potential risks.
All countries around the world are showing continued care towards the issue of cyber security, which consists of a set of technical and administrative tools used to prevent unauthorised use, abuse and recovery of electronic information and data contained in institutions in order to ensure the availability and continuity of the work of information systems, ensuring the protection, confidentiality and privacy of personal data and protecting citizens from risks of cyberspace.
The risks are high, requiring activation and efficiency of electronic government agencies with the aim of personal data and national security protection and the development of a national strategy to include different groups, in addition to defining all risks facing the society in this regard to protect their information from theft, piracy, etc., along with awareness and education to put an end to these information crimes.

haider al lawati

haiderdawood@hotmail.com