Cyber criminals to target human lives in the future

Published: September 14, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Cybercriminals will eventually move away from targeting data and will instead start threatening human life, according to cybersecurity expert Kevvie Fowler.

Speaking to Canadian Underwriter, Fowler said the shift will come in the next 10 years.

“Moving forward the next five or ten years, I’m expecting a monumental shift where cybercriminals are going to skip the data – they’re not interested in data – they’re going to start to attack or start to focus on human life,” Fowler said.

Ransomware and other forms of cyberattack are typically focused on stealing data and/or money, usually by accessing a system and taking over it. In the future this will change and “what you are going to see are ransomware threats designed to specifically crash an airplane or to actually send lethal shocks via people’s pacemakers, etc.,” Fowler suggested.

This would eventually trickle down to insurance providers, who will have to include loss of life in cyber and life protection policies.

“That ransom won’t be paid by one organization, it will be several people pooling together: people in the public sector, private sector, individuals in the community,” Fowler said. “So it will completely change the way we view cybersecurity, how these type of cases could be investigated and how organizations could proactively protect, how insurers can actually insure as well. When you start to get out of the data and focus more on life, how do your policies respond to that?”