Kivu’s Global MD Winston Krone recently joined a webinar panel on ransomware threats to small businesses. Below are some key takeaways from the session, which saw experts from BCS, Baker Hostetler, Kivu and Risk Placement Services, Inc. discuss cyber extortion.
Ransomware isn’t new
Ransomware has been around since the early 2000’s, but incidents were few and far in between, with ransom demands generally quite small. 2018 saw a substantial uptick in ransomware attacks with small amounts requested, between $500-$5,000.
2019 saw a dramatic increase in ransomware incidents
Cyber extortion cases surged in 2019 along with an increase in the size of ransom demands, the largest (as cited by Baker Hostetler) being $18.8M. Ransomware as a service (RAAS) is facilitating this surge of attacks.
In most cases (97%) an encryption key was received upon payment, though it’s worth stating that a key is not a guarantee for smooth decryption or fully functional network restoration.
COVID-19 is the perfect environment for ransomware actors
Threat acters capitalize on crisis, decreased vigilance and lack of preparation/readiness. COVID-19 ticks all three boxes. Organizations most at risk are those now previously equipped with remote infrastructure – which, turns out, applies to quite a few organizations. In addition, employees whose online behavior is closely monitored in the office are left to their own devices (literally) at home.
Approach ransomware attacks as data breaches until forensic evidence shows otherwise.
Practical safety measures can go a long way
Adhering to a few simple guidelines can dramatically decrease the risk of an organization falling victim to ransomware. Below is a selection of some of those measures:
- Segregate work and personal devices
- Conduct employee awareness training
- Flag external emails
- Enable multifactor authentication across key accounts
Ransomware attack: one event – many coverage triggers
The insurance coverage implications of ransomware are complex, and show the wide-ranging effect ransomware attacks can have on a business:
- cyber extortion
- security breach response
- business income and digital asset restoration
- security liability
- privacy regulatory claims coverage
- computer hardware replacement
Contact us to request a copy of the webinar slide deck.