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Published 16 December 2015
David Cameron presented the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) to Parliament last month. He reported that the world is more dangerous and uncertain than five years ago and that a “full-spectrum approach” is required to counter threats that do not recognise national borders. The approach includes “offensive cyber” actions and it would seem that the cyber war, which is often mentioned but rarely seen, is now firmly established and underway.
The prospect of cyber-based terrorist attack is a modern reality. Speaking recently at GCHQ, Chancellor George Osborne said that while ISIL have not yet been able to use cyber attacks to kill, “we know they want [that capability], and are doing their best to build it... If our electricity supplier, or our air traffic control, or our hospitals were successfully attacked online, the impact could be measured not just in terms of economic damage but of lives lost."
Whilst it is instinctively uncomfortable to turn to commercial considerations following such announcements and recent tragic terrorist acts, it is the stark reality that the insurance industry must constantly assess how it will respond to such events.
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