Cyber attack on Asian ports could cost up to $150b: Lloyd’s, Latest Business News - The New Paper

Cyber attack on Asian ports could cost up to $150b: Lloyd’s

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A cyber attack on Asian ports could cost as much as US$110 billion (S$150 billion), or half the total global loss from natural catastrophes last year, a Lloyd's of London-backed report said yesterday.

Cyber insurance is seen as a growth market by insurance providers such as Lloyd's, which specialises in covering commercial risks, although take-up in Europe and Asia remains far behind levels in the United States.

The worst-case scenario in the report was based on a simulated cyber attack disrupting 15 ports in Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and China. Some 92 per cent or US$101 billion of the total estimated economic costs of such an attack are uninsured, Lloyd's said.

The figure was calculated by simulating the impact of a computer virus carried by ships and which scrambles cargo database records at the ports.

Asia is home to nine of the world's 10 busiest ports and is a crucial part of the supply chains for the world's leading companies in sectors from autos to industrial goods, clothing and electronics.

Countries with links to each port would also be hit. As such, Asian countries would be hit the most, with US$26 billion in indirect losses, followed by Europe with US$623 million and North America with US$266 million.

"We know that the biggest assets for companies are not physical, they are intangible," said Lloyd's chief John Neal.

"With the increasing application of technology and automation, these risks will become even more acute." - REUTERS