Cyber risks can cause disruption on scale of 2008 crisis, study says

Apr 22, 2014
A visitor walks past a stand offering security solutions for the Internet at the 2014 CeBIT computer technology trade fair on March 10, 2014 in Hanover

Organisations must dramatically improve their response to cyber risks to avoid a new global shock on the scale of the financial crisis that rocked the world in 2008, a study showed Tuesday.

Zurich Insurance said in a statement that even cyber security professionals did not have a clear overview of all the interconnected risks organisations can face.

The Swiss insurance group, which has produced a report on in cooperation with the Atlantic Council think tank, warned that "a build-up in these risks could create a failure on a similar scale to the 2008 ".

Subprime mortgages were at the root of that crisis which began when the US housing market collapsed, dragging down major banks, and causing panic on world .

The Zurich Cyber Risk Report said IT risks could pose a threat of a similar scale.

"Few people truly understand their own computers or the Internet, or the cloud to which they connect, just a few truly understood the financial system as a whole or the parts to which they are most directly exposed," said Zurich risk chief Axel Lehmann.

Outsourcing of server management for example or creating direct connections between organisations for things like corporate joint ventures makes it more difficult to get an overview of the involved, Zurich said.

The risk of disruption in the Internet infrastructure itself, malware attacks and major international conflicts can also create system-wide risk, it added.

"The Internet is the most complex system humanity has ever devised. Although it has been incredibly resilient for the past few decades, the risk is that the complexity which has made cyberspace relatively risk-free can, and likely will, backfire," Lehmann said.

Explore further: London-based banks simulate giant cyber-attack

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Growing cyber threat to US infrastructure: spy chief

Mar 12, 2013

The United States faces a mounting danger from cyber attacks on its infrastructure while digital espionage threatens to undercut the military's technological edge, the intelligence chief said Tuesday.

London-based banks simulate giant cyber-attack

Nov 12, 2013

Dozens of London-based banks joined other financial institutions in the capital on Tuesday for a giant exercise to test their defences against a cyber-attack, officials said.

Cyber resilience metrics needed to meet increased threats

Nov 25, 2013

Cyber threats are rapidly emerging as one of the primary security concerns for the nation and global community as targeted cyber attacks can cause severe consequences to critical infrastructure and sectors of the economy. ...

Recommended for you

Visa software tackles fraud at the gas pump

Sep 30, 2014

Unattended gasoline pumps are a favorite place for crooks to test stolen or counterfeit credit cards before going on a shopping spree. Now Visa is trying to cut off the fuel supply.

User comments : 0