Cyber War and Terrorism: Towards a common language to promote insurability

Authors: Rachel Anne Carter and Julian Enoizi

The COVID-19 crisis is a stark reminder of other looming threats, physical and digital, with the potential to cause extreme disruption. In an insurance context, the pandemic underscores the importance of clear policy wording, as ambiguity can cause reputational damage to insurance companies and resource-intensive litigation.

This report proposes a 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.