Looking Ahead to 2021

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2020 was not the year any of us have been expecting. We have all had to adapt and the insurance industry is no different.

Ransomware –The Insurers Top Concern

At the beginning of this unprecedented year one thing was on the radar of all cyber insurers. The biggest continuing trend of 2020 is the increasing impact of ransomware attacks. CFC Underwriting’s cyber claims data from this last year reflects this. Globally, ransomware attacks accounted for 31% of claims but 73% of what was paid out, making them disproportionately severe.  Cybersecurity Ventures reports that a business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds by 2021.


These concerns have been exacerbated by the other ‘C-Word’. COVID-19  has had an effect on the cyber landscape which cannot be ignored. The pandemic has been devastating across the world and had far reaching effects in every facet of our lives. In terms of cyber risk it has presented a new opportunity to cyber criminals in terms of social engineering scams. Within the first few months of the crisis the NCSC reported more than 2,000 online scams related to coronavirus; 471 fake online shops selling fraudulent coronavirus related items, 555 malware distribution sites, 200 phishing sites seeking personal information such as passwords or credit card details and  832 advance-fee frauds.   We can expect this to continue into 2021 as organisations grapple with economic uncertainty, new modes of working and the distribution of the vaccine.

A Healthy Supply Chain?

On a global scale IBM has reported that the international vaccine supply chain has been targeted by cyber-espionage.  Phishing emails were sent out across six countries, which targeted organisations linked to the Cold Chain Equipment Optimisation Platform (CCEOP) of the international vaccine alliance. This is a very specific set of circumstances and particularly catastrophic potential consequences but how attacks are carried out is the same. This can teach us valuable lessons across all industries. How secure is your supply chain?

This news also shows how the healthcare industry will likely be the front line of cyber risks in the New Year. The pandemic has been testing these providers on every level and cyber criminals know how to exploit this over extended capacity.  In just one day in October six American hospitals received ransom demands of at least $1m leading to some cancer treatments being cancelled. There are even worries that criminals will move from just locking organisations out of their health data to tampering with is and threatening patient safety.

The Working From Home Revolution

For other types of businesses the pandemic has also changed things at the everyday level. The way the workforce operate has possibly changed forever.  A large number of people have begun working from home. This presents a number of challenges relating to data management. In addition to this the security of your network.    It has been reported that the global pandemic drove a spike in denial of service attacks which appeared tied to the large-scale shift to remote working. During the height of lockdown between March and June the frequency of DDoS attacks increased 25% compared with the previous three months. Cyber criminals saw the opportunity to exploit organisations that were supporting a workforce remotely logging in from poorly protected home networks.

How to Approach These Challenges

Many organisations have been left in a dire position with nearly half (47%) feeling more vulnerable since working from home and 21% say they do not understand the protection that is available to their business.  There has never been a better time to make cyber risk management your priority.

The challenges which have been thrust upon businesses over this last year can be viewed as an opportunity. We can help you to seize this and review your risk management strategy to offer the most comprehensive and best value solutions for you and your business. The world of cyber risk management is fluid and fast moving. We work hard alongside our select panel of cyber insurers to keep up so that you can too.

Contact our cyber specialist team today to discuss the cyber needs of your business.



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