The world has gone digital, and you can hardly find a company that does not use computers and websites to run its business. these companies store a plethora of data online, including their customers’ sensitive data.
As technology continues to evolve, companies are at a greater risk of facing cyber-attacks. Lately, ransomware has been a hot topic. To mitigate the results of ransomware, businesses are turning to insurance companies for help.
As ransomware has become a global problem, some insurers have seen it as a great opportunity to widen their nets by offering ransomware insurance. Here is everything you need to know about ransomware insurance and why it is important for businesses.
What is Ransomware?
It is a kind of cyberattack that blocks you from accessing your data, customer services systems, website, or other important resources. The attackers then use ransomware to extort payments in monetary value to allow you to access your data again.
How Ransomware Spreads
There are numerous ways of infecting a computer with ransomware. Among the most common methods is a phishing scam where attackers will trick their victims into clicking on infected links and attachments through emails.
Normally, you will receive a legit-looking email that seems to have originated from a familiar brand or trusted source. At first glance, the victim thinks the email is authentic and they will be tempted to open it.
Upon opening the email, they will then be tricked into sharing their valid credentials on a fake website or downloading a file, which is infected. Once they fall into the scammers’ trap, the hacker will have full access to their computer, giving them the power to encrypt all the data at their pleasure.
Another common infection method is through malvertizing or drive-by downloading. In the first case, scammers use online advertising to distribute malware with minimal or no interaction with the victim.
Victims will be browsing the web looking at legitimate sites. Without their knowledge or consent, they will be directed to criminal servers without ever opening an ad. The criminal servers collect the victims’ locations and computers’ details and then choose which malware to send to them. In most cases, that malware will be ransomware.
There are also some aggressive kinds of ransomware, including NotPetya and WannaCry. These types look for security holes and use them to infect computers without the need for social engineering tools to fool their victims.
Types of Ransomware Attacks
Ransomware comes in different sizes and shapes with some kinds being more disastrous than others. However, they all have one common goal - to demand ransom. Here are the most common kinds:
Crypto ransomware: It is the most destructive type. Crypto-ransomware encrypts files using randomly generated symmetric keys that require asymmetric keys to decrypt your data. The most famous crypto-ransomware is the WannaCry attack that happened in 2017. Its target was hundreds of thousands of computers globally and it spread within corporate networks worldwide.
Locker ransomware: Such attacks lock victims out of their computers. These users find it impossible to log in to their computers to access their applications and files.
Scareware: It is fake software that looks like an antivirus or a system cleaner. Scareware ricks users into paying a ransom to get their computer system cleaned up.
Leakware/Doxware: This is a hacker who threatens to publish stolen, sensitive business or personal data if the user fails to pay the ransom.
What is Ransomware Insurance?
To protect sensitive business data, companies are purchasing ransomware policies. With some insurers, ransomware coverage is included within privacy and cyber insurance policies and termed as cyber-extortion coverage.
Items covered under this policy include the cost of hiring professionals to negotiate with hackers, money to pay ransom demands, and the cost of forensic experts who can help determine how hackers infiltrated the victim’s computer system and offer recommendations on how to avoid future incidents.
Ransomware insurance cover is a vital tool for any business. it helps companies protect their computer systems against hackers, keep the business afloat as it recovers, and avoid data loss from a security breach. As these attacks fall under the cyber extortion category, companies should remember these points:
Ransomware Versus Data Breach
Most insurance companies view these two as different things.
Cyber extortion costs have similar definitions: Insurers summarize the costs associated with online attacks as:
● Necessary and reasonable fees that insurers use to assist their clients
● A ransom paid or the fair market value of any demanded goods and services
Strict claim requirements: First-party coverage will depend on what the company already has. Some policies offer companies first-party together with third-party coverage, while others only offer third-party coverage. If a company has third-party coverage, it faces a high chance of damage if an attack was to occur.
Companies need to show proof of attacks:
To successfully make an attack claim, victims need to prove a few vital areas, including:
● The company was forced to pay the ransom
● At least one executive was on board with paying the required fee
● The company made enough efforts to ensure the threat was real
● How Companies Can Protect Themselves
To stop ransomware, businesses need to educate employees on how to recognize threats, limit user privileges, use the cloud service to back up data, and employ enough cyber hygiene to avoid becoming easy targets for scammers. However, it is also wise to get a ransomware insurance policy for your business.
How Ransomware Insurance Helps Businesses
By taking a ransomware insurance policy, companies can protect their businesses in numerous ways. Ransomware insurance can protect businesses in various ways. They include:
● The ransomware insurance underwriting process offers companies awareness of cyber threats, educates them, and identifies how businesses should respond to these attacks
● Once an attack occurs, ransomware insurance works as a mechanism for gathering a team of professionals, including computer forensic analysts and legal experts, to assess the situation and recommend the right response in a timely way.
● Ransomware insurers pay claims for data breaches, network interruptions, ransomware, and related liability.
Ransomware insurance is a vital component in a bigger risk management strategy for businesses. While fighting hackers can prove too technical for most businesses, ransomware insurance is a valuable partner to help with the fight. One such ransomware insurance agency is Joyce Insurance Agency, which helps businesses find the best insurance options at competitive rates.
If you are interested in receiving a quote or learning more about Ransomware Insurance, feel free to give our insurance brokers a call today at 845-942-7200.