December 13th, 2018

Europe Experienced Increased Cyberattacks in the First Half of 2018

Posted at 1:00 AM ET

banner-image_editedhmj-500x500Estimates suggest that the number of cyberattacks across Europe increased by around a third in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period last year, according to the recent World Economic Forum (WEF) report Regional Risks for Doing Business 2018.

The WEF study surveyed about 12,500 executives across 140 countries on the five biggest risks to doing business in their respective countries over the next 10 years. Cyberattacks emerged as the biggest threat to doing business across Europe largely as a result of their prominence in many of the region’s most advanced economies. In total, cyber risk ranked number one in 12 countries; including in Germany and the United Kingdom, Europe’s first and second largest economies, respectively.

Siobhan O’Brien, Head of Guy Carpenter’s Cyber Centre of Excellence for International and Global Specialties, says: “Cyber risk understandably tops the list of risks for a number of reasons, including the potentials of a sudden and unforeseen attack that can affect all levels of an organization and beyond and may result in unpredictable losses. It is possible to paralyze a segment of an economy through a cyberattack. The (re)insurance industry can and should contribute to product innovation and expanding companies’ understanding of cyber risks and exposures, including the vital issue of silent cyber.”

Europe was affected by a series of major attacks that took place in 2017; for example, the WannaCry ransomware attack badly disrupted the United Kingdom’s health system and Germany’s rail system, the WEF study noted.

“Silent cyber, for example, is receiving significant attention following loss events and is a risk where the modeling science is still evolving. Guy Carpenter recently launched a new cyber risk modeling platform developed with CyberCube Analytics and based on Guy Carpenter analytics, and the Global Cyber Centre of Excellence,” says Ms. O’Brien.

Globally, cyberattacks tend to be flagged as a concern in the world’s more advanced economies, the WEF survey shows. Of the 19 countries that ranked it number one, 14 were from Europe and North America; the others were India, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

Guy Carpenter’s parent company, Marsh & McLennan Companies, is a strategic partner of the WEF on the global risks agenda.

Download WEF’s Regional Risks for Doing Business 2018 >>

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