(Reuters) — About $22 trillion of global debt rated by Moody’s has a “high” or “very high” exposure to the risk of cyber attack, the credit rating agency said in a report on Thursday, with hospitals and utilities at the highest risk.
Of the $80 trillion worth of debt in 71 sectors the credit rating agency monitors, more than a quarter – or 28% – were in these two highest risk classes. This was $1 trillion more than in 2019, Moody’s said.
Hospitals and infrastructure including electricity, gas and water utilities are the most vulnerable, says Moody’s.
The score took into account the risk of exposure to the hacker and mitigation measures taken.
“We see not-for-profit hospitals as very attractive, data-rich targets with average mitigation measures in place to reduce the impact of a potential cyber event,”; the report said.
The agency said its findings were not related to any credit rating measures and that most cyberattacks were not significant enough to affect issuer ratings.
Moody’s said cyber-related risks were increasing, but there had also been an increase in investment in security measures to counter that risk.
Ride-hailing app Uber and Australian telco Optus Network are among the companies hit by cyber security breaches so far this September. Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia’s state oil producer Aramco said cyber attacks are one of the biggest risks it faces.