Ransomware Events Causing Rapid Uplift in Claims

An exponential rise in the frequency and severity of ransomware events - linked to the impact COVID-19 has had on working conditions - is causing a surge in breach costs and a rapid uplift in claims.

Accordingly, the market is now placing more attention on underwriting - particularly around ransomware - and are inspecting each risk more carefully. Furthermore, rate increases, and possible alterations to terms and conditions, are likely to continue in 2021, in response to unexpectedly large losses. 

Industries expected to feel the biggest effects, include healthcare, higher education, public entities, manufacturing, financial institutions, construction and large media and technology firms.

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In light of this, it is vital for organizations to demonstrate strong cyber risk management and strong cyber defenses. Organizations should seek to minimize the risks of ransomware and, where possible, mitigate factors that increase the likelihood or necessity of a ransomware payment. Specifically, companies should:

  • Review and consider strengthening backup data and data restoration plans. This can reduce the risk of material data loss and business interruption in the event data or systems are infected, and may be a factor in deciding whether to make an extortion payment.

  • Reassess data retention and security practices to eliminate the risk of exfiltration of personally identifiable information. The threat of disclosure of sensitive information by bad actors is frequently a major factor when a company is deciding whether to make a ransom payment.

  • Address remote desktop protocol (RDP) vulnerabilities, including closing any open RDP ports and moving any required RDP access behind a VPN.

  • Since employee errors trigger most cyber incidents, it is important to train employees about good cyber hygiene. Recognizing threats like phishing emails and having distinct, strong passwords go a long way to providing security. Dashlane (password management) and Skillbridge (cyber training) risk management services are available to Victor Cyber policyholders. 

It's important to begin the renewal process early to understand what the insurer expects from a rate and underwriting standpoint. 

If you have any questions, please reach out to your regional marketing contact.

You can quote and bind coverage online through V2 or by emailing cyber.us@victorinsurance.com

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