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Multi-million shock from potential internet disruption

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Cyprus is at risk of a staggering economic impact of €10,457,241 in the event of a global internet outage, mobile data restriction, or a halt to social media applications lasting 24 hours, according to NETBLOCKS’ Cost of Shutdown Tool (COST).

This estimation, equivalent to approximately $11,399,936, emphasises the vulnerability of the nation’s economic landscape to disruptions in the digital world.

NETBLOCKS’ COST tool calculates the economic fallout based on indicators from the World Bank, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Eurostat, and the US Census.

Findings underscore the integral role of the internet in daily life, portraying it as a linchpin supporting economic activities across various sectors.

The global economic repercussions of a one-day internet shutdown are deemed substantial, with potential disruptions reverberating through key economic sectors.

In the unfortunate event of a year-long interruption, limitation, or absence of internet provision in Cyprus, the projected cost soars to a staggering €3.816 bln.

Even a month-long disruption is estimated to incur a substantial economic toll of €324.2 mln.

This analysis gains relevance in the context of recent cyberattacks experienced by Cyprus, including disruptions to major services such as the Land Registry portal and state university websites.

Notably, the Land Registry portal resumed full operations after almost a month following a cyberattack in March.

The significance of the issue was further underscored by disruptions related to servers at the Ministry of Finance in April.

These servers were situated in the basement of the Finance Ministry, which had been flooded, causing a notable impact on Cyprus’ digital infrastructure.

Research carried out by AtlasVPN, using the COST tool, indicates that a global day without internet would translate into a colossal cost of $43 bln, with China and the US anticipated to bear almost half of this burden at $21 bln.

COST differentiates the economic impact based on the type of internet disruption.

In the case of an outage or restriction of major social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (now X), YouTube, and WhatsApp, Cyprus could face a daily cost of €1.8 mln.

In the ranking of countries anticipated to suffer the most substantial economic losses due to a day without internet in 2023, the US claims first place with a projected cost of $11.014 bln, closely trailed by China at $9.897 bln.

The list also features the United Kingdom ($3.271 bln), Japan ($2.714 bln), Germany ($1.498 bln), and India ($1.431 bln).

The estimates also highlight potential losses for South Korea ($1.270 bln), France ($871 mln), and Canada ($576 mln).

In contrast, oceanic islands such as Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Nauru, and Micronesia are projected to experience the smallest losses, amounting to $50,000.