Cybersecurity » British Model Catastrophic Cyberattack To Mitigate Risk

British Model Catastrophic Cyberattack To Mitigate Risk

October 30, 2023

British Model Catastrophic Cyberattack To Mitigate Risk

A major cyberattack targeting payment systems could cost the world economy $3.5 trillion, according to a hypothetical scenario modeled by Lloyd’s of London and the Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies.

The Record reports that the British government conducted research into the likelihood of a catastrophic attack on the financial system, and found it unlikely. The worst-case scenario was modeled as an attack against a single network in the government’s National Risk Register. According to the model, it had a “remote chance” of occurring within a limited forecast period.

In that scenario, the damage would be done by a loss of confidence in the availability and integrity of financial data, and the financial system in general, which would occur because the hypothetical attack would drop a spanner into the works of financial transaction processing.

The incident Lloyd’s modeled involved “several” cyberattacks taking place at once. That would mess up the multiple independent systems that comprise “financial market infrastructure overseen by various organizations.”

Lloyd’s described its scenario thusly: “Attackers plant malicious code in critical pieces of software used by the financial services industry to confirm transactions and verify payments during routine software updates. The update is sent to tens of thousands of partner and customer networks, infiltrating them at the same time.”

Such an attack has only a 3.3 percent chance of happening; or put another way, it is a once in 30 years event; or put yet another way, there is about 1/3 the time to prepare for a global economic crash precipitated by a cyberattack as there is to prepare for a once-in-a-century heatwave, and they happen every year now.

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