At the same time cyber-attacks on smaller businesses are increasing says a government report.

Ransomware attackers hack into a business’s systems and encrypt the data so that it is unusable.  It then demands a ransom to provide an encryption key to release the data.  Ransom demands are currently small, averaging US$1,000, but the cost of dealing with the attack and its aftermath can be far higher says insurer, Beazley, in its latest Beazley Breach Insights publication.  It projects that ransomware attacks on its customers will increase by 400{0a6a65c996ed4169444354e707b897cdb00dbefc1d0429e8febb9bf11027ba53} in 2016.

From what we are seeing, it appears that many hackers are finding it easier to make money by holding companies to ransom for bitcoin than through selling personal data on the dark web,” said Katherine Keefe, global head of Beazley Breach Response Services. “But, the persistently high levels of hacking and malware attacks of all kinds are a reminder that organizations across industries, and of all sizes, need actionable plans ready to implement when a breach occurs,” she added.

It is not only ransomware attacks that are increasing.  One in three small British businesses suffered a cyber breach in the past year, reports the government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2016.  It found that just under half of small businesses had cyber insurance cover.  Many small firms are well prepared with 60 per cent having incident response in comparison with 52 per cent of all businesses. But all companies must “think about the risks of what would kill the business and stop it operating” if a hack or data theft occurs, Dave Palmer, director of technology at cyber security consultancy, Darktrace, told the Financial Times.

Cyber-attacks are a reality of modern business,” said James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professional Risks.  “Firms need to prepare themselves with effective defences and response plans, backed-up by high quality cyber-liability insurance.  We help our clients to find appropriate cover which will meet their needs and help to get them back up on their feet quickly if an attack occurs

A report on the latest trends in cyber-crime has been published by the Financial Times.  Beazley’s Beazley Breach Insights report and press release are available on its website.  The government’s Cyber Security Breaches Survey 2016 can also be downloaded from its website.