Moody's: Cyberattack threat could affect credit ratings

The fallout of cyberattacks don't just affect protected health information. A new report from Moody's Investors Services says the threat of cyber attacks may start to play a role in organizations' credit ratings.

"While we do not explicitly incorporate cyber risk as a principal credit factor today, our fundamental credit analysis incorporates numerous stress-testing scenarios, and a cyber event could b the trigger for one of those stress scenarios," according to Moody's.

Moody's likened a cyber event to a natural disaster; it can be difficult to anticipate the duration or the severity of problems when calculating a ratings impact, according to Reuters.

Key factors to examine when determining a credit impact associated with a cyber event include the nature and scope of the targeted assets or businesses, the potential duration of service disruptions and how long it takes to restore operations.

Industries that handle high volumes of personal data are at the greatest risk of experiencing a cyber attack that could result in reputational and financial damage, including healthcare, according to Moody's.

Adding cybersecurity expertise to boards and governance structures can be a credit positive, according to Moody's.

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