The fuel pipeline attack in the USA this month has shaken nation, And turned the business conversation to how ransomware and cyber insurance come into play. The ransomware attack was a ruthless reminder of how fragile our supply chains for basic necessities are. And an unforgiving truth that no organisation is too big or important to escape becoming a major cyberattack victim. The incident is a perfect example of the worst-case scenario disaster recovery and cybercrime experts warn of. Critical national infrastructure forced into operational shutdown, and disastrous effects cascading throughout the supply chain with widespread public impact.

Ransomware has been a key agenda item in boardrooms over the last year. The highly disruptive malware hit a record attack high in 2020, skyrocketing 62% in just 12 months. This alarming growth coincided with record high Bitcoin value and the comeback of cyrptojacking. Ransomware is also evolving into locale-specific strains, and increasingly associated with professional criminal organisations. We shared what you need to know in a recent post.

 

Back online, but what now?

The sheer magnitude of the pipeline attack – which spawned images of desperate Americans trying to get their hands on gasoline any way they could – has refocused the ransomware conversation. As government and private sector professionals battled to shut down the ransomware attack, get back online and recover stolen data, executives were asking: what happens now?

And millions of businesses across the globe are coming to the realisation that yes. The nightmare scenario can, and will, happen. They are asking how they and their customers would cope if all operations came to a halt. Whether they could afford the necessary expert intervention, stomach financial losses, or pay compensation or fines. Those in critical industries such as healthcare, food and beverage, pharmaceutical, government and logistics, will certainly be reviewing cyberattack response capabilities as a priority.

 

Getting back on your feet after a ransomware attack

And while the primary focus must always be prevention, we ask you to consider an important, extra layer of protection. Cyber insurance. Did you know that in the first 6 months of 2020, 40% of cyber insurance claims related to ransomware?

If your network, systems and data are compromised, even with security in place, a cyber insurance policy will help you get back to your best. It can fund response and recovery, from reimbursing customers, compensating suppliers for broken SLAs, and paying for all manner of technical tasks. We recommended following these 3 golden rules to get the most value from cyber insurance.

 

1 – Ensure that robust cybersecurity and data protection policies are in place.

To get the best rate, scope of cover, and maximum payout should the worst happen, you must have certain cybersecurity implemented first. Essentials range from antivirus, firewalls and email filtering with “advanced threat protection” technology, online backups and a degree of disaster recovery, plus proof of data protection. Partnering with an IT Managed Service Provider will help you access and evidence required anti-ransomware solutions.

 

2- Choose a cyber insurance policy that evolves with you.

Today, most products will pay out for breaches, customer losses and if evidenced, associated liability. However, you ideally want a policy that covers ransomware threats that emerge throughout the duration of your insurance contract. The threat landscape is an ever-moving feast, and ransomware is one of the smartest nefarious actors around. So, a policy that only covers known threats at the time of signing will be inadequate,

 

3- If attacked by ransomware, contact your insurance provider immediately.

Waiting even a few hours could jeopardise your eligibility to claim and trigger terrible knock-on effects for your finances, operations, and reputation. Too often businesses call their insurers after an incident is resolved. This makes it difficult for an insurer to ascertain if cover obligations have been satisfied – i.e., whether certain cybersecurity and policies were in place – and therefore complicate the claim process. At best, critical compensation could be withheld for many months. At worst, your business’ claim will be rejected.

 

As illustrated, benefiting from cyber insurance is a two-part process. Having a policy supports your financial position should a ransomware attack in your business be successful. And having essential security measures in place beforehand ensures that you will get the best possible outcome from a cyber insurance claim.

Do you need support with ransomware and cyber insurance? For help implementing anti-ransomware solutions ahead of taking out a cyber insurance policy, contact Starcom on 0844 579 0800 or email enquiries@starcom.tech.

by Tom Mercer

Customer Relationship Manager - MSP

A business technologies specialist for over 8 years, with unrivalled expertise in helping customers to maximise their business systems, hosted solutions and cybersecurity through support and account management.

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