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Ransomware Risks – What to Do?

Recently, major websites of Ukrainian government agencies and major financial institutions were impacted by cyber-attacks over the last one week to ten days. As per reports, those were DDOS attacks that stopped websites from working.

The number of cyber incidents has been increasing worldwide. One of the worst is the ransomware attack, which can have a devastating effect.

According to a report published by Cognyte Software Ltd., 1000+ ransomware attacks occurred in just the first half of 2021; the USA being the top country with 54.9% victims.

Based on a survey by Sophos Ltd.

  • 34% of the financial services organizations surveyed were hit by ransomware in 2020 out of which 51% of organizations admitted that the attackers succeeded in encrypting the data.

  • 25% of the organizations paid the ransom whose data got encrypted; while some numbers are larger, on average a financial services company paid about $70,000 when impacted.

Ransomware attacks on Insurance Industry

Major insurance service providers like AXA, CNA, Arthur Gallagher, Geico, have all been impacted. Anyone can get impacted. While there are many ways to prevent these, like implementing anti-virus software, anti-malware software, web application firewall, data loss protection software, and so on, none of them can guarantee that you will not be impacted. Each of the items will however improve the likelihood of an attack materializing in real life.

Like every other system exposed to the internet, even a top agency management system used by a broker or MGA can also be the target of a ransomware attack. After all, it stores customer’s data, and it allows business transactions and can be accessed through the internet.

How to Protect Insurance Agency Management Software from Ransomware attacks

To prevent this, production support teams must

  • deploy tools to prevent viruses and malware from impacting

  • monitor and identify abnormal behaviors of key parameters early in the process

  • deploy processes that will continuously monitor the systems automatically

  • include human intervention to check the results

  • manage the incidents as best as possible to prevent repetition.

  • And since there is no guarantee, depending on an affordable RTO and RPO, the disaster recovery plan and associated infrastructure, as well as simulation exercises, must be in place.

Remember, anyone can get impacted, and if it happens, we should be able to get back to business as usual.


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