It's too soon to gauge the financial impact of the WannaCry ransomware worm's damages, but cyber insurance companies are already seeing claims.
The malware has significantly raised awareness about ransomware as a concept now that it's the most unprecedentedly widespread worm.It is now considered a landmark occurrence for the cyber-security insurance industry that is now establishing precedents for indemnifying corporate clients.
The malware-insurance industry was expanding as a market even before the WannaCry pandemic.New market predictions forecast as much as $5 billion in insurance premiums by 2020.
The promise is that organizations can make claims to compensate for costs and remediate damage when afflicted with data breaches or ransomware attacks.
Pascal Millaire is the vice president and general manager of cyber-insurance at Symantec.
He said, "The WannaCry worm is one of the most significant and virulent forms of malware ever seen and therefore the insurance industry is taking notice."
Symantec's cyber-insurance arm gives insurers software that appraises cyber risk using Symantec's data intelligence and expertise in cyber-security.
Insurers see WannaCry primarily for its threat to large networks and the global internet community rather than as a threat to any one individual.
"Insurers underwriting cyber-risk can handle 10 losses or 100 losses, but when there is a major systemic event that can lead to thousands or tens of thousands of simultaneous claims, at that point there are solvency issues that can threaten the future of an insurer," Millaire says.