Lloyd's of London report stated that the cyber-attack on major ports across the Asia-Pacific could cost losses of up to $110 billion would occur in an extreme scenario in which a computer virus infects 15 ports.
Despite the high costs to business and international trade, the report showed that the global economy is under-prepared for such an attack with 92% of the total economic costs uninsured, leaving an insurance gap of $101bn.
An attack via a computer virus carried by ships could scramble the cargo database records at major ports and lead to severe disruption, according to the plausible scenario depicted in the report. Although the virus only directly affects ports in Asia-Pacific, economic losses would be felt around the world due to the global inter-connectivity of the maritime supply chain.
The scenario estimates that transportation, aviation and aerospace sectors would be the most affected ($28.2 billion of economic losses in total), followed by manufacturing ($23.6 billion) and retail ($18.5 billion).
Productivity losses affect each country that has bilateral trade with the attacked ports. Asia would be the worst affected region, set to lose up to $27 billion in indirect economic losses, followed by $623 million in Europe and $266 million in North America.
Angela Kelly, Singapore Country Manager, Lloyd’s, said: “We are pleased to once again collaborate with the University of Cambridge and CyRiM founding members on this ground-breaking research. Cyber risk is one of the most critical and complex challenges facing the Asia Pacific maritime industry today. As this risk grows with the increasing application of technology and automation in the industry, collaboration and future planning by insurers and risk managers is critical. With nine out of ten of the world’s busiest container ports based in Asia, and high levels of under-insurance in the region, this exposure must be addressed.”