11 September 2017
Reporter: Jenna Lomax

Insurers concerned about 'silent cyber' exposure, according to Willis Re poll

Insurers are increasingly concerned about “silent cyber” exposure, a recent Willis Re poll revealed.

The poll, which asked the industry to assess the extent to which the cyber aspect of exposure would increase the likelihood of a covered loss over the next 12 months, found that approximately half of the respondents see silent cyber exposure as a "growing concern".

It also revealed that over half of the respondents felt that the risk of a silent cyber loss from property or other liability was greater than 1 in 100, while close to a quarter considered the risk to be greater than 1 in 10, citing a pattern of uncertainty in the industry.

Examples of silent cyber exposure could include anything from a cyber-attack on an industrial plant’s control system, to malware causing an elevator to fail.

Anthony Dagostino, head of global cyber risk at Willis Towers Watson, said: “Buyers of insurance have to consider the exposure that they have in relation to the rising prominence of cyber-related incidents.”

“The results of the survey have reinforced the need for a holistic cyber risk insurance strategy and tailored insurance policies to address the risk adequately.”

Mark Synnott, global cyber practice leader at Willis Re, added: “The degree of concern over silent cyber exposure has confirmed the importance of the existing support we are giving to clients to help them better manage their known and unknown cyber exposures.

He added: “Over the last two years, our PRISM-Re-modelling tool has allowed us to help underwriters and reinsurance buyers manage their entire cyber portfolio more effectively by identifying contagion risks, monitoring shifts in risk profiles and tracking their risk-adjusted pricing. The results of our survey will help us calibrate PRISM-Re to accommodate silent as well as known cyber exposures.”

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