The Reschini Blog: The Ramifications of Ransomware

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 (, 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.

Safeguarding Cyber: Protecting Against Ransomware Attacks

If the sneak attack that got through your IT defenses was ransomware, the damage is done. Your files are encrypted, unusable. That’s why it makes sense to supplement antivirus software with a program focused solely on ransomware.

Depending on the nature of the business, every hour of lost productivity might cost thousands of dollars, or even more. Fortunately, while ransomware attacks are on the rise, so are techniques for fighting them.

As described by PC magazine*: “The premise of ransomware is simple. The attacker finds a way to take something of yours, and demands payment for its return. Encrypting ransomware, the most common type, takes away access to your important documents by replacing them with encrypted copies. Pay the ransom and you get the key to decrypt those documents (you hope).”

The article continues: “If you’re hit by a ransomware attack, you won’t know it at first. It doesn’t show the usual signs that you’ve got malware.  Encrypting ransomware works in the background, aiming to complete its nasty mission before you notice its presence. Once finished with the job, it gets in your face, displaying instructions for how to pay the ransom and get your files back.”

Cybersecurity insurance supplements specific ransomware software protection packages, helping to cover losses in time, productivity, and sales in the aftermath of an online attack.  No business is safe, regardless of location, industry segment, size, or level of sophistication.  It only makes good business sense to recognize ransomware for the danger it is and to make the appropriate steps to protect your company and your employees.

The professionals at The Reschini Group can help your organization understand the risks of ransomware and how best to protect your organization.  Contact us to talk more about this important consideration.



Copyright 2019 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.

Ransomware Insurance: Protection from Extortion Damages

Extortion is a nasty business.  It can be performed all too easily, though, if one is well-versed in the dark online arts.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that cyber criminals use to extort money from organizations all over the world. The cyber attacker injects ransomware into a victim’s computer network, when a user opens an infected email attachment or clicks a link on an infected website.  Once on the user’s computer, the ransomware receives an encryption key from the criminal’s Command & Control (C&C) server, which it uses to encrypt files.

The encryption then blocks user access to files the organization needs. In many cases, ransomware also quickly spreads to other computers on the network, where it finds more files to encrypt. After ransomware locks the files, it posts a note that tells the victim how to pay a ransom to the attacker.

When the victim pays, the cyber criminal’s C&C server tells the ransomware to unlock the victim’s files. The victim can then resume normal operations. However, some ransomware does not decrypt files after a victim pays the ransom, leaving the victimized organization crippled.

Ransomware is becoming very popular with cyber criminals because it can attack any business in the world and is relatively simple to create and use. This was the case with WannaCry ransomware in 2017, which quickly impacted more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries.

One element of a comprehensive strategy to address data security is customized cyber risk insurance. Organizations should carefully review their existing liability policies, such as kidnap and ransom policies, and consider stand-alone cyber risk coverage.

Most cyber insurance policies are modular, which means an organization has a menu of coverages to choose, such as business interruption, third party liability for privacy breaches and first party coverage for an organization’s own costs to detect, stop, investigate and remediate a network security incident.

The experts at The Reschini Group can help you determine the need for ransomware insurance as part of a total cyber security package.  Extortion is a nasty business, but protection can be provided to control the impact on your organization.

Copyright 2018 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.