Cyber Terror and Cyber War

The cyber landscape is evolving rapidly, with digitalisation expanding the range of threats and vulnerabilities. This process is amplified by shifts in working and business practices brought on by COVID-19, some of which are likely to persist indefinitely. Ransomware and supply chain attacks in particular have become more prolific since the onset of the pandemic, and with them, wider recognition of the potential for large-scale economic disruption from malicious cyber incidents.

A series of three reports by The Geneva Association and the International Forum of Terrorism Risk (Re)Insurance Pools (IFTRIP) examined the insurability of such Hostile Cyber Activity (HCA), those malicious incidents beyond cyber terrorism but not involving cyber warfare.

  • The first report in our cyber terror and cyber war (CTCW) series, Cyber War and Terrorism: Towards a common language to promote insurabilityproposes the new term, 'hostile cyber activity' (HCA), to describe a cyber act that falls in the current 'grey' area between cyber war and cyber terrorism. In doing so, it aims to bring clarity to the language used to describe cyber risks, thereby promoting enhanced insurability and cyber resilience for society.
  • The second report, Mapping a Path to Cyber Attribution Consensus, provides insurers with a framework for attributing and characterising cyber incidents, emphasising the need for international collaboration to promote consistency and a streamlined process.
  •  The third and final report, Insuring Hostile Cyber Activity: In search of sustainable solutions, examines in detail the ability of the private re/insurance sector to underwrite HCA risks and the role that public-private partnerships can play in fostering effective solutions.

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