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Ransomware – A Growing Form of Cyber Extortion

By June 20, 2022July 11th, 2022No Comments
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What is ransomware? Does my business need Cyber Insurance?


Cyber extortion methodology is evolving every day. Ransomware has been around for more than a decade but is now becoming the primary driver of cyber liability claims.

What is ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents the victim from accessing their data until a ransom is paid.

Ransomware is different than a data breach in several important ways. It is an industry-agnostic exposure, hackers pick their targets based on a company’s willingness to pay rather than the size of their business or the type of data that the business stores.

Ransomware has grown in both frequency & severity; attacks have caught the eye of the federal government. The potential impact of ransomware following the Colonial Pipeline attach in June of 2021 caused the US Department of Justice to elevate investigations at the priority level as terrorism.

Paying for a decryption key is just one part the cost. Other costs include the time & money required to make sure data is restored properly. Attackers are including payment demand to prevent the release of customer data and nonpublic information.

Manufacturers are a great example of how ransomware has changed the stakes for many industries. When data breach was the primary exposure, manufacturers were considered to be low risk because they held very little personal information or credit card numbers compared to other industries like retailers or healthcare organizations. With automation increasing with manufacturers the advanced technology has made them more productive and competitive and increased the potential entry points for a hacker. Attackers have learned manufacturers are quick to pay a ransom because it is difficult for them to be out of production for hours, days, weeks.

So now the question becomes: Why does my business need cyber insurance:

  • Does your business rely on a computer system and/or emails to conduct business?
  • Does your business have a website?
  • Is your website a store front, sales or support desk for customers?
  • Does your business operate under a PCI merchant services agreement?
  • Does your business hold sensitive customer data?

There is very little information needed to provide a cyber quote for your business.

Reach out for a quote today

Oxford Risk LLC