European insurers discover cyber protection market
By Benoit Toussaint, AFPFRANKFURT--It's already a booming market in the United States, but in Europe, companies are also waking up to the idea of cyber insurance to protect themselves against Internet attack.
September 23, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
And insurance companies are projecting strong growth in the coming years.
On the other side of the Atlantic, where companies are obliged to inform U.S. authorities of online attacks, the cyber insurance market is already highly developed, totaling US$1.3 billion (960 million euros) per year, according to Christopher Lohmann, head of Germany and central Europe at Allianz Global Corporate and Speciality.
Europe is still a long way off that.
“But we project strong growth in the coming years. We see the market amounting to 700-900 million euros by 2018,” Lohmann said.
For companies and private individuals, the dangers from the web are very real, ranging from data and identity theft to espionage.
Companies can see their infrastructure paralyzed, their computer systems infected with viruses and malware.
But these are not the only risks: human error and internal hiccups can also jam systems and wipe data.
Just last month, mobile phone operator Vodafone was the victim of massive data theft where personal information — including bank account details — of around 2 million people was stolen.
And with the exponential growth of electronic messages, and the increasing transfer of companies' commercial processing and data storage to cloud computing, the dangers are only going to multiply.
In Germany, a total 64,000 acts of cyber crime were officially reported in 2012, representing around 42 million euros worth of damage, an increase of 7.5 percent over the previous year.