Ransomware attacks surge Cyber Insurance claims in Europe

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Ransomware attacks have surged cyber insurance claims in Europe says a report compiled by AIG, one of the largest cyber insurers on the globe. The data shows that the financial institution has received as many cyber claims last year as in the previous four years from companies operating in Europe, Middle East, and Africa.

AIG report also disclosed that the rise in claims stats was a result of a surge in ransomware attacks, in which hackers decrypt a database from further access until a ransom is paid to them in Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoins or Monero.

“Ransomware attacks accounted to just over a quarter of claims last year, up from 13% in 2016”, said Mark Camillo, Head of AIG’s European Cyber Insurance Business.

As hackers were finding it difficult to make money from cybercrime, they chose to go for ransomware attacks says Mr. Camillo. He added that it was easy to siphon data from the magnetic strips of cards earlier. But with the PIN and 2-way authentication, things have turned almost impossible to hackers now.

AIG cyber insurance claims stats say that only 10 percent of affected companies paid the ransom to hackers. But there is no guarantee that all of them were awarded a decryption key in exchange to the ransom.

Analysts from Jefferies bank forecast that the global market for cyber insurance will grow from just under $4 billion in premiums in 2018 to $7 billion in 2020.

Readers of Cybersecurity Insiders are requested to notify a fact over here that ransomware news hit headlines last year during the same time when WannaCry ransomware attack hit Britain’s NHS and other parts of the world. It not only caused financial damage worth billions of pounds but also led to the shut down of many businesses on temporary and on a permanent note.

Greg Case, an insurance broker at AON says that insurers can do more to cover cyber risks to the maximum extent. He divulged his opinion on seeing the figures of the industry which say $3 billion premia is written in cyber at a time when clients in the US have $450 billion in reported loss- which is absolutely not relevant and proves non- responsive.

Another change visible in the stats was a shift in the type of companies which are being targeted. It was discovered that professional service offering companies serving law and accounts field made up to 18% of claims last year, up from just 4% between 2013 and 2016.

The report of AIG asserts that crypto jacking crime-where hackers use CPU of victimized computers to mine cryptocurrency- is also on the rising.

Trade analysts feel that the market for cyber insurance will mature further as the said field is said to rapidly grow in the area of specialized commercial insurance in next couple of years.

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Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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