A growing number of cyber criminals are targeting factories for ransom, knowing that the industry’s time-sensitive nature puts pressure on companies to pay up. “if we don’t make our product in time, that means Toyota doesn’t make their product in time, which means they don’t have a car to sell on the lot that next day. It’s that tight,” says John Peterson, AW North Carolina’s IT manager. The factory was hit with malware last year, with the potential to lose $270,000 in revenue, plus employee wages, for every hour it was out of commission.
Manufacturers: do you carry Cyber Liability / Data Breach insurance? Cyber extortion coverage protects your business against losses caused by ransomware and other types of cyber extortion. Many cyber liability policies cover three types of costs.
Ransomware victims have paid out more than $25 million in the past two years, according to a new study by Google, Chainalysis, UC San Diego and the NYU Tandon School of Engineering. The study reviewed 34 separate families and discovered that a particularly harmful strain, Locky, received more than $7 million in payments. Ransomware, which infects and locks a system until payment has been received, has become “an almost unavoidable threat” over the past few years. It’s shown to be popular amongst cybercriminals, who often demand payment in the form of bitcoin. Two ransomware attacks made earlier this year by WannaCry and NotPetya had been “deemed destructive in nature,” Forbes writes, but only received $140,000 and $10,000, respectively.
A viable solution to this sort of threat? A good Cyber Liability insurance policy will pay extortion expenses and extortion monies as a direct result of a credible cyber extortion threat. This is only one of the many areas a Cyber Liability insurance policy can help.
Cyber insurance can be essential in helping your company recover after a data breach, with costs that can include business disruption, revenue loss, equipment damages, legal fees, public relations expenses, forensic analysis and costs associated with legally mandated notifications. A lesser-known benefit of cyber insurance is the role it can play in protecting your company long before a breach occurs.
Are you like me where you get paranoid using public ATM’s and paying for gas with your card at the pump? I am sketched out about ATM / credit card skimmers that scammer’s place on public machines to trace your personal information. I stumbled across this video on Facebook. This is in Europe, but it doesn’t matter, this can happen anywhere. Be vigilant my friends!
This October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, an event co-sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) in order to raise awareness of the importance of cyber security issues. While the event is designed to highlight some of the nation’s cyber security precautions, as well as how to be prepared in the event of a national cyber security incident, much of the focus is on good cyber security practices for the average individual.
Specifically, the groups are trying to promote their “Stop. Think. Connect.” and Stay Safe Online campaigns—efforts that teach good cyber security in terms everyone can understand. In order to encourage your employees to practice good cyber security, review the following lessons with them:
- Password Security: More powerful computers have given criminals the ability to crack passwords easily. Passwords with a mix of capitalized and lowercase letters—as well as numbers, symbols and other special characters—are much harder to crack. And, though it should go without saying, make sure your employees don’t write their passwords down in plain sight in their work spaces.
- Phishing Scams: A number of different scams could fall into this category, but they all have commonalities that your employees should be aware of. Never open an email from an unknown source, and never click on a link in an email unless both the sender and the link can be trusted.
- Software Updates: Security patches are designed to fix known vulnerabilities. Make sure your employees download the latest security patches when they become available.
Those wishing to participate in this year’s activities can find a number of resources available online, or contact me for further cyber security materials.
This past Wednesday I was part of a panel for an educational workshop to discuss innovative ways to protect small businesses from cyber crime.
On the panel was an FBI Special Agent who shared FBI insights on fighting cyber crime. Akilah Kamaria from Blue Fields Digital Intelligence shared strategies organizations can use to prepare for and respond to a cyber incident. I shared information on cyber liability and data breach insurance and its role in helping to protect companies from cyber crime losses.
Special thanks to Akilah Kamaria for allowing inviting me to participate. Also, to Gal-A Photography for the professional photos:
Thank you for putting on such an important and great event!
Two former FBI agents from Travelers Insurance Investigative Services hack into a typical business website and download sensitive data in a matter of minutes to demonstrate how quickly a cyber attack can happen:
Research shows that cyber criminals and hackers are attacking smaller “Main Street” companies who are often less prepared to prevent and respond to an attack.
Cyber insurance can protect companies before an event takes place by helping supply them with risk management tools and advice and access to other professionals in the data security community that can help with their information security.
Check out the full story: http://travl.rs/1WvPHQq
Have questions about cyber insurance? Interested in learning more about the various coverage’s included within a cyber insurance policy? Want to see what it would cost you to pick up cyber insurance for your business? Contact your insurance broker or me today to talk more.
How clever is your password? If it’s on the list below, your password is just as easily stolen as it is remembered. Protect yourself by making sure you’re not using one of the top 25 most commonly stolen passwords of 2015, as determined by IT security firm SplashData.
To create a more secure password, make sure you are not relying only on numbers, and try to avoid simple keyboard patterns. You may also want to avoid easy-to-find information such as birthdays, favorite sports teams and addresses. Attempt to create a password that is eight or more letters long, and avoid using the same password for multiple access points.