Next Year Set For Cyber Cat Warns Broker

The Head of Technology, Media and Cyber at broker New Dawn Risk has predicted that 2020 will see a cyber catastrophe loss hit the market.

James Bullock-Webster (pic) issued his predictions for next year and warned that the catastrophe that no one believes will happen is likely to occur in the coming 12 months.

“Apparently, it will never happen … Cloud Service Providers can’t be hacked and operating system providers are impenetrable,” he explained. “Those folks seem to have forgotten what happened in 1912, when RMS Titanic, the unsinkable ship – SUNK! One report suggests that a large-scale data loss from cloud services provider could cost $22.2 billion.”

“So what? So, an event of this scale will reduce capacity, push reinsurance rates up and kill off one-third of existing cyber carriers, whilst another third will voluntarily withdraw. The bottom line is that rates are going to go up and coverage will be restricted.”

He added: “Don’t be reliant on any one service provider, understand the impact of contingent business interruption and plan for the doomsday scenarios. If it doesn’t happen, all the better but if it does, then at least you might be able to survive longer than your competitors.”

Mr Bullock-Webster added that the Middle East will also become a global cyber-crime hotspot in 2020

“There is no doubt that in 2020 we will continue to see a significant growth in cyber extortion,” he said.  “Criminal gangs will shift their focus away from private individuals and onto businesses where they can hope for a greater return on their investment.  The Middle East is a soft target; lots of wealth and a tendency not to want to lose face means ransoms will be paid and not talked about.  IT budgets may have been neglected and there is a paucity of experienced breach responders in the region. This is a ticking time bomb.”

“Harden your systems, train your people, be resilient, have a plan, test that plan and partner with organisations that know what to do in the face of a debilitating cyber event.”