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Quantification of systemic cyber risk exposures of the private SMEs and proposals for insurance solutions

Project Description

The large organisations (both government and non-government) may have the capacity in terms of intellectual and economic resources to protect their infrastructure and businesses from the growing cyber threats. However, the private SMEs often do not have such capabilities. Consequently, they are severally vulnerable in understanding the potential cyber threats (e.g., data loss) and economic damages on their businesses. In the UK, the private SMEs play a powerful role in the economy. They employ 60% of employment and contribute 51% of nation’s GDP turnover. Allianz’s (2018) survey reports that cyber risk in terms of data loss, misuse and theft is the top five biggest risk of UK private SMEs. Given the systemic nature of the cyber risk it is highly likely that the potential losses will massively scaled up Insurance is regarded as one of the effective and tested mechanisms to accept the unwanted risks of the businesses thus providing economic security in the presence of uncertainty. In addition to providing economic security to the businesses, insurers provide risk management advice to mitigate the risks of their clients. In order to addressing the high demand insurers, in recent years, launched several cyber risk policies. Unfortunately, they are developed mainly to serve the potential damages of large organisations (both economic and reputational losses). Consequently, the protection of cyber risk related losses for the private SMEs are neglected. This study will search for alternative insurance solutions for SMEs taking the systemic nature of cyber risk into consideration.

Brief description of supervisor esteem:

Dr Madhu Acharyya is an active member of the Cyber Risk Investigation working party of the Faculty of the Institute of Actuaries

Dr Michael Zboron is an insurance researcher expert who worked as Technical Specialist in the Insurance Sector & Prudential Support Department of the Prudential Regulation Authority (Bank of England) where he was responsible for financial and risk analysis of the insurance sector in the United Kingdom.

Specific requirements of the project:

The successful candidate should have advanced knowledge on risk, insurance and/or computer science topics preferably at the post graduate level. In addition, advanced skill in quantitative date analysis is necessary.

Candidates are requested to submit a more detailed proposal (of a maximum of 2000 words) on the project area as part of the application. In particular, more challenges may arise from the structures of the local/regional insurance and capital market to accommodate in the detail proposal.

How to apply:

Project Reference Number: GCUL-2019-003 Acharyya


Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying. Applicants should complete the online GCU Research Application Form, stating the Project Title and Reference Number (listed above).

Please attach copies of academic qualifications (including IELTS if required), 2 references and any other relevant documentation to the online application.

Please send any enquiries regarding your application to:

Applicants shortlisted for the PhD project will be contacted for an interview.

For more information on how to apply and the online application form please go to:

Funding Notes

This project is self-funded. A variety of scholarship packages including funded studentships (tuition fees and stipend) and fees only scholarships are available to UK/EU and international candidates. The studentships are not guaranteed and candidates interested will be competing against others in the funding opportunity.

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