Lloyd’s of London has reported that a serious cyberattack could cost the global economy as much as a devastating natural disaster.

According to the Guardian, average losses from a crippling cyberattack are estimated to be around $53 billion.

However, insurers are unable to give a specific estimate, due to the complexity of cyberattacks and the lack of historical data available. A worst case scenario could see the figure reaching up to $121 billion.

The report looked at the potential damage that could be triggered by an attack on a cloud service provider, which is believed to be the most likely target for an attack.

The paper judged the second-most likely threat to be to worldwide computer operating systems.

Lloyd’s published the report two months after WannaCryptor went global, at an estimated global cost of $8 billion.

The industry found to be most at risk is the financial sector, followed by software and technology and then hospitality.

Inga Beale, chief executive of Lloyd’s, said: "Because cyber is virtual, it is such a difficult task to understand how it will accumulate in a big event.”

She added: “Cyber events can cause a severe impact on businesses and economies, trigger multiple claims and dramatically increase insurers’ claims costs.”

Cybersecurity experts at ESET have recently identified Industroyer as a major threatespecially to Industrial Control Systems.

It is hoped that analysis of such threats will serve as a wakeup call for all those responsible for the security of critical infrastructure (systems) worldwide.

Such repeated warnings should not be falling on deaf ears.

Many governments and businesses run a huge financial risk by not being insured; but more crucially, risk falling victim to an attack by failing to ensure that employees and consumers heed expert advice.