Cyber Terrorism

What is Cyber Terrorism ?

Cyber Terrorism is defined as the politically motivated use of computers and information technology to cause severe disruption or widespread fear.

It has recently been announced that the UK government will spend £1.90 billion to bolster Britain’s defenses against cyber terrorism. This will go towards creating the country’s “cyber force” to mitigate on-line threats from states and terror groups. A new National Cyber Centre will be based at GCHQ in Cheltenham which will be dedicated to suppressing and detecting cyber attacks made against the UK.

Elsewhere in the world, in the USA  the Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr is campaigning for a bill requiring social media companies to inform the authorities of terrorist activities.

In the technological environment that exists today an act of cyber terrorism could have a very significant impact in the commercial world, whether this be in the financial sector, manufacturing  or infrastructure. The consequences could bring a country to stand still. The threat is very real and with the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino it is feared that this could lead to an increase in cyber terrorism.

Coverage is available under a cyber liability policy is not always offered as standard and it is important the policy wording is reviewed to assess whether any existing coverage is in place . The policy wording may be “silent ” or include a blanket terrorism exclusion but include a “carve back” stating that the policy will respond to a loss for cyber terrorism. A definition of cyber terrorism will also be included under the policy.

An alternative to coverage under a conventional cyber liability insurance policy is the formation of the equivalent of the current Pool Re , with a Cyber Re , this is perhaps a long way off but should not be ruled out in the future.