In the wake of the COVID pandemic, cybercrime is skyrocketing to unprecedented levels and daily ransomware attacks increased by 50% in 2020.
The cause of this rise is largely due to the massive increase in American employees working from home. Where employees used to be under the umbrella of their organization’s security networks and using their business’ secured devices, today the majority of employees are remote. Remote work has many benefits and isn’t likely to go away any time soon, however it poses new security issues as personal devices, and personal or public networks simply do not provide the same cyber security covering as employee’s experienced while working in the office.
Many remote employees are unaware of what security measures they have in place on their devices and networks, and IT departments are unable to personally secure every network and device that employees are now connecting from. All of these factors bring a wide variety of new security vulnerabilities, and cyber criminals have been taking full advantage of these new open doors.
Another aspect of the expansion of cybercrime is the inherent danger that comes with the expansion of internet access across the globe. The number of individuals with internet access is expected to reach 5.3 billion, and 3.6 connected devices per person worldwide, by 2023.
Ransomware attacks are among the top cyber security concerns for individuals and the companies that employ them. Ransomware attacks are often undetected and they happen to a person or business every 10 seconds. These attacks can come in the form of emails that seem harmless. They are often even branded emails that look like they’re coming from a trusted company. One individual falling prey to ransomware can actually be the catalyst for a much bigger, more sophisticated attack on an entire company through phishing and other kinds of theft.
For small to midsize businesses, a single ransomware attack can be absolutely devastating, and sadly, 45% of SMBs say their cyber security is not nearly enough to protect them. In 2020, 66% of SMBs experienced a minimum of one cyber-attack. The most unfortunate effect being that 60% of SMBs will go out of business within 6 months of a data breach.
It’s no wonder that these businesses are so vulnerable. The most common security measures are easily circumvented. Two factor authentication, “strong” passwords, and password manager apps are ultimately just a minor delay for a cyber-attack. They often do not do the job of actual prevention. Just one cyber-attack can mean the loss of money, the loss of privacy and productivity, the loss of reputation, and ultimately the loss of the entire business.
Cyber insurance may be the best solution for SMBs to protect themselves if and when they fall victim to a cyber-attack. Most cyber insurance policies for SMBs will cover up to one million dollars of damages, which includes coverage for profit losses, liabilities, and lawsuits. Cyber insurance can help SMBs recover their reputation, cover penalties and fines, and the cost of class-action lawsuits and regulatory investigations.
Cyber insurance does not cover the loss of physical property, such as “bricked” devices. It does not cover future loss of profits or long-term effects of cyber-attacks on profits. It also does not cover the loss of intellectual property, such as loss of company value after a breach. Ransom payments themselves also may not be covered as the demand is simply outgrowing the supply. However, with cyber insurance, companies can potentially rebuild and recover their losses to the extent that they can still stay in business and have a leg to stand on for future growth.