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Silent cyber, cyber losses that affect insurance policies not specifically designed to cover cyber risk, has become a significantly greater threat in 2018 compared with a year ago in insurers’ view, says Willis Re, in a survey issued Monday.
The survey of close to 700 participants from more than 100 insurance companies found that in 2017, fewer than half of respondents estimated the silent cyber risk to be greater than one cyber-related loss for every 100 non-cyber related losses, according to the survey 2018 Silent Cyber Risk Outlook, issued by Willis Towers Watson’s reinsurance unit.
In 2018, 60% to 70% of respondents estimated the silent cyber risk factor was greater than one in every 100 noncyber-related losses in all lines of business apart from workers compensation.
“The increased concern might be due to actual large-scale events such as WannaCry and NotPetya, which demonstrated the potential for cyber-related losses in multiple lines of business,” said the report.
“It might also be due to a growing appreciation of the insurance-related implications of our reliance on digital technology — a reliance that is only going to increase in the years ahead,” the report said.
The online survey was conducted in the latter part of the first quarter. Lines covered in the survey included first-party property, other liability, including auto, works compensation, errors and omissions, and directors and officers.
Rick Welsh, chief executive of U.K.-based data and analytics firm Sciemus Ltd., has said that insurers and reinsurers are not sufficiently equipped to underwrite and model cyber exposure and lack the required capacity to address the rising threat of an aggregation of losses from “silent” cyber attacks, Artemis.bm reported. Silent cyber risks are potentially catastrophic losses that may be claimed on policies that don’t actually state whether cyber-attack is covered or excluded.