Mar 7, 2022
Goldman Analyst Warns Cyberwarfare Could Inflict Economic Costs
(Bloomberg) -- A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. analyst warned an escalation of Russia’s conflict with Ukraine could spark “malicious cyber activity” with the potential to inflict significant economic and social costs.
In a wrap of research on the topic, economist Ronnie Walker said cyberattacks have been said to cause about $1 trillion damage to the world economy each year and that two-thirds of them in recent years were attributed to Russia.
While the U.S. is less vulnerable than many because it invests more in security and has stricter regulatory requirements, it does have a high degree of dependence on digital technology and studies have tried to calculate a cost of such attacks.
A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York concluded that a successful attack on one of the largest U.S. banks could interrupt 5%-35% of daily payments. Research from Lloyds calculated that an extreme attack on the northeast U.S.’s power grid could cause between $250 billion and $1 trillion in economic damages.
Goldman Sachs’s Walker said ultimately there are three reasons to be optimistic about the U.S.’s ability to weather a cyberattack:
- The threat of U.S. retaliation is a strong deterrent
- The U.S. is already frequently tested by such attacks by criminal organizations and state actors
- Russia may not seek to impose maximum damage, preferring to cause psychological problems rather than economic pain
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