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  • Lyle Adriano, Insurance Business America

Chubb: 2019's ransomware attacks already outpacing 2018

Cyberattacks – specifically of the ransomware kind – have become more frequent, and the attackers more aggressive, says a new report by Chubb.

According to the 2019 third quarter edition of Chubb’s Cyber InFocus Report entitled “Adapting to the New Realities of Cyber Risks,” the number of ransomware attacks for 2019 is already overtaking the total number of incidents in 2018. Citing the company’s previous Cyber Index report, the new report says that malware claims recorded by Chubb – which include ransomware incidents – increased to 18% of all cyber claims in 2019, from an average of 12% over the past five years.

And as the number of attacks increased, so did their level of sophistication, the insurer added in its report.

“Ransomware is not new, but has evolved over time,” commented Chubb head of cyber in North America Michael Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum warned that in today’s environment – with nearly all industries relying on computers for critical functions – a highly debilitating cyberattack can lead to severe and long-term disruption for businesses. The expert also mentioned how some ransom demands following ransomware attacks have grown to the six- and seven-figure range. It is because of these factors that businesses must understand the increased sophistication of ransomware, learn which best practices need to be in place to mitigate the risk, and secure solutions to protect themselves in the event of an attack, he advised.

The InFocus Report, citing data once again from the Cyber Index, said that the professional services industry accounts for 30% of the total number of ransomware incidents reported to Chubb. The manufacturing industry followed, accounting for 23% of the reported attacks. Chubb noted that professional services firms are more likely to be targeted by phishing attacks due to their reliance on email, while manufacturing firms are popular cyberattack targets due to their need to quickly restore operations.

Other insights mentioned in the report:

  • Ransomware accounts for 40% of manufacturers cyber claims in 2019 thus far.

  • Ransomware accounts for 23% of cyber claims for smaller businesses (with revenue less than US$25 million) in 2019.

“As bad actors are continuously changing their attack techniques and increasing the complexity of the ransomware, it’s imperative to implement multiple layers of preventative measures to mitigate potential incidents and ensure a reaction plan is in place if an attack occurs,” recommended Chubb North America financial lines claims vice-president and cyber lead Anthony Dolce.

Photo Credit: Deposit Photos

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