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Cyber Threats to Irish Businesses

So what are the Cyber Threats to Irish Businesses? Over the past number of years extortion by cyber criminals against small businesses has exploded. Cyber-crime is now a bigger business than the world illegal drugs trade. For Cyber criminals the chances of getting caught are very small and rewards are lucrative so that there is every incentive to pursue a ‘career’ in cyber-crime.

In the world of Cyber Crime, Ransomware is the fastest growing forms of attack according to specialist insurer CFC Underwriting. Ransomware, phishing scams and fraud are just some of the cyber threats we face.

According to CFC’s own claims data, in 2016 ransomware accounted for little over a 10% of cyber insurance claims. By 2017, that figure had risen to nearly 25%. 

From CFC Article

In the past, it was common for ransomware to be distributed widely without a specific target in mind, in the hope that a small number of individuals and businesses would be caught out. Because this approach was not targeted and the cybercriminals who used it did not have a sophisticated understanding of their victims, the actual ransom amounts demanded were fairly modest – typically around $300. However, we are now witnessing a shift, seeing cybercriminals starting to specifically target vulnerable companies and encrypt their data and systems with ransomware. And because they have a better understanding of their victims, these cybercriminals are also raising their ransom demands accordingly, with many requesting amounts in excess of $50,000.

The CFC article goes on to explain how a particular claim on a client played out and the various twists in the story.

What the article clearly brings to light is that dealing with a ransom attack is not a simple matter of paying a ransom and your business resuming as normal. It illustrates that in many cases this is simply the start of solving the problem. Lots of issues and costs can follow, such as decrypting computer systems and ensuring that they are free from any residual infections and vulnerabilities.

Cyber Fallout

One of the key covers of a Cyber insurance policy is an Emergency Incident Help Desk to help guide you through the myriad of issues and problems created by a cyber event. It is here that you really get to see the value of your insurers’ service. When you buy a cyber insurance policy you are obviously looking to cover contingencies like Loss of profit and damage to your systems – but you are also paying for a service to help and advise you when things go wrong. Specifically on the CFC Cyber insurance product we offer, you will get access to a whole range of CFC’s network partners such as legal experts, which many small businesses might not otherwise be able to afford.

CFC have nearly 20 years’ of experience in the cyber market and during this time have built up a substantial partner network, ensuring their incident response team knows who to turn to when specific events occur. If you read the full article you’ll see how the use of specialist partners in the example outlined enabled the insured to negotiate the ransom amount down significantly, arrange payment and decrypt and clean the data and applications before transferring it to a new environment. Had they not had this service in place, the costs incurred would likely have been much higher and could have led to their inability to provide a service to their customers. These are the cyber threats we face. 

More Information

For More details on Cyber Insurance, the cyber threats you face and how we can help your business Contact Us.

– The full article from our partner specialist Cyber Insurers CFC underwriting is available here

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