It’s one of the oldest plots in the movies. A person or object of great value gets kidnapped. A demand for money or some other form of tribute is demanded. And either the ransom gets paid, or a rescue ensues. The end, curtain down, talk about the film on the ride home. Nice and tidy.
Until it happens in real life, and the true impact of ransomware – the infiltration of your computer system, complete with unwanted access to your most sensitive information – becomes all too clear.
And don’t think it couldn’t happen to your small business. Ransomware strikes at systems large and small. In fact, a small contractor servicing a large corporation can serve as one of the easiest “back doors” for a hacker to make an enormous score.
In 2019, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 2,047 complaints identified as ransomware, with losses in excess of $8.9 billion. That’s billion. With a “b.” Even while citing those statistics, IC3 also insists that instances of ransomware remain vastly underreported, so the true total of losses is probably much higher.
Intricate, elaborate, expensive software systems designed to block sophisticated ransomware attempts can be effective, and have real value in the ongoing fight. But it’s also important to remember that ransomware hackers can gain all the access they need by the simplest of methods, as well. A targeted phishing attack that gains the credentials of top managers can parlay that information into a quick and substantial ransom payment.
So how to avoid the chilling and costly incidence of being held for ransom by outsiders capturing your proprietary data? Establish a relationship with federal law enforcement authorities and trusted organizations like the non-profit National Cyber Forensics-Training Alliance (ncfta.net), conduct continuous employee awareness training that includes top officials of the company, increase knowledge of ransomware tactics and trends to stay ahead of the threat, and review your insurance coverage against losses attributable to ransomware attacks.
The professionals at The Reschini Group can work with you to audit your exposures and craft a policy package to provide the proper level of protection. Because being held for ransom is not a plot device in a movie that you can walk away from. It’s all too real.
Copyright 2021 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.