Insurer warns of 'cybergeddon' scenario - New York News

Insurer warns of 'cybergeddon' scenario

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Most people can't go a day without the Internet. Reasons for using it are nearly limitless: social media, shopping, work, communication, finance, everything. Securing passwords and personal information is an ongoing concern.

Now a new report says it's not you who needs to step up cyber security. Instead, organizations storing information need to step up their response to cyber risks to avoid a global disaster on the scale of the 2008 financial crisis, according to a study by Zurich Insurance Group and international think tank Atlantic Council

"Obviously the Internet has been incredibly resilient for the past few decades, but as with securitization, the added complexity that has made cyberspace relatively risk-free can - and likely will - backfire," the authors write in a report on the study. Information technology has created a web of interconnected operations, for example outsourcing of server management, that if one or a few were to fail the rest could snowball, the report says. That would be similar to the subprime mortgages at the root of the recent financial disaster.

Robert Siciliano, a McAffee online security expert, says the so-called cybergeddon scenario has been proposed before. He sees it as a minor possibility.

"The cloud isn't actually a cloud," he says. "It is a series of servers backed up in physical locations, generally in redundant locations."

Still, the Zurich company says there is a need for cyber-risk management. It should be noted the company offers insurance for these types of scenarios.

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