Ransomware attacks double in past year

The number of ransomware attacks reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office increased 100% from 326 in 2020 to 654 in 2021, according to analysis of data conducted by law firm RPC. The organisations most affected include firms in finance; insurance; education and childcare.

RPC says some larger gangs have also profited from licensing their ransomware to other hackers, enabling even those with limited technological know-how to perpetrate attacks. Some will scour the internet for vulnerabilities, then sell the access to other gangs, which then execute the attack and exfiltrate data.

Richard Breavington, partner and head of RPC’s cyber and tech insurance team says: “Ransomware attacks have been on the rise and it’s a problem that isn’t going away any time soon.

“It is becoming increasingly rare for cyber to be covered by other types of insurance policies. As a result, businesses that are not taking dedicated cyber policies run the risk of becoming underinsured.

“However, there are options for businesses that want to avoid being caught in an insurance gap. One is investing in the latest IT security software. Not only will this reduce the chances of succumbing to an attack, but it will also signal to insurers that they take matters of cyber security seriously and hopefully make it easier for them to get coverage.

“Corporates should also ensure that their systems are backed up regularly in segregated back ups, which could help minimise business interruption in the event of an attack.”

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