The headline is misleading. The article isn’t suggesting that somehow cybercrime will decline after 2021, just that it’s going to get a lot worse, using the example of the impact of an attack on the top container ports to illustrate the point…:
MANILA: The next two years will see a new peak in cybercrime activities, which means newer variety of online attacks and higher gains that will eclipse all previous illegal profits.
Looking at it another way, this is probably what people mean when they refer to the “digital disruption” effect since many Asia Pacific countries don’t have enough capabilities to stop cyberattacks, say analysts.
The CPO magazine asked: What happens, for example, if malicious threat actors decide to launch a cyberattack against the maritime ports in the Asia-Pacific region, home to nine of the world’s top 10 container ports.
“Insurance company Lloyd’s of London, in partnership with the University of Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and the Cyber Risk Management (CyRiM) project at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University, has simulated such a theoretical attack, and projected that the cost of the cyberattack could reach US$110 billion in a worst-case scenario,” said the portal.
For context, US$110 billion is about half the insured losses due to natural disasters in 2018.
The total insured losses last year were US$225 billion when there were 394 natural disasters for the whole year.
Also, in such a scenario, a software virus would infect 15 major ports across five Asian markets — Singapore, South Korea, China, Japan and Malaysia.
A virus affecting the computer systems of cargo transport ships would spread to the computer networks of these major port cities, while malware would paralyse cargo database logs and cause all sorts of chaos.
This would lead to major disruptions in not just the delivery of cargo to the ports, but also to supply chains waiting to take valuable cargo and send it around the world.
The portal suggests a three-step approach to protect companies from losses due to cyberattacks — purchase an insurance policy, invest in new technologies and get effective tools that can defend assets from risk of cyber threats.
Another portal, asgam.com further highlighted the repeated cyberattacks in Asia.
“Cybercrime has cost the Philippines potentially US$3.5 billion in economic losses. Last year, 1.5 million patients of Singapore’s SingHealth outpatient clinics had their personal information stolen in what was the city-state’s largest data breach ever,” it said.
Given the global nature of modern supply chains, a disruption in the all-important Asia-Pacific market would be felt around the world as a ripple effect.
Singapore’s transport sector would be the hardest hit, followed by South Korea’s, say researchers, though the effects will also be felt as far as Europe and North America.
Among the most impacted due to cyberattacks are the transportation, aviation and aerospace sectors to the tune of US$28.2 billion, followed by the manufacturing sector (US$23.6 billion) and the retail sector (US$18.5 billion).
In terms of losses, port operators would constitute half of all insurance claims, followed by businesses along the supply chain (21 per cent), and logistics and cargo handling companies (16 per cent).
Ultimately, cyber risk is a critical and complex challenge, says Lloyd’s of London.
“As a result, those on the front lines of a potential cyberattack, such as port operators and logistics firms, should be taking steps now to protect themselves from a destructive cyberattack in the future,” CPO warned.