What Your Business Needs to Know About Ransomware and Cyber Extortion

Did you know that ransomware attacks are now one of the most popular cyberattacks, surpassing hacking and physical theft in cyber claims activity? The FBI estimated ransomware to be a $1 billion crime in 2016 and research reported that 42% of small and medium-sized businesses were hit by ransomware attacks.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that ‘kidnaps’ data and holds it hostage by keeping the owner locked out until a ransom is paid. Cyber criminals often use ransomware in cyber extortion crimes to demand money.

Learn more in this video:

How does Cyber Extortion Work?

Consider this scenario:

The manager at a busy downtown bar downloads an email attachment that appears to be from her bookkeeper. The attachment contains ransomware which, when downloaded, immediately encrypts files on the manager’s computer — including accounting and payroll records. When the manager tries to access a file, a message appears on the computer screen directing her to pay a ransom in bitcoin in order to receive a decryption key that will unlock her files.

With the help of an information technology (IT) expert and legal counsel, the threat is determined to be credible, and the ransom is paid. The ransom, IT fees and legal expenses total $50,000. This would be covered by Society’s leading-edge cyber liability insurance. Cyber extortion coverage provides for expenses incurred and extortion monies paid as a direct result of a credible cyber extortion threat made against you.

What is bitcoin? A digital currency created and exchanged independent of banks or government; transactions are usually completed anonymously.

Technology and the risks associated with it affect every person and business. And in recent years, cyber criminals have increasingly targeted small businesses. Ask your local Society agent for details on the many ways a cyber liability policy can help protect your business, including coverage for privacy breach response costs and payment card industry penalties.

Author

As a mutual insurance company, we operate and exist for the benefit of our policyholders. For more than 100 years, Society has been helping businesses overcome the unexpected with comprehensive coverage packages and outstanding claims handling, underwriting and risk management.

Latest Articles

How to Overcome Imposter Syndrome at Work

What Is Imposter Syndrome? Imposter syndrome is defined as the persistent inability to believe...

How a Restaurant Closing Checklist Benefits Your Business

As a bar or restaurant owner, you know that your night isn’t over when the last customer leaves....

Creative Interview Questions for Finding the Right Candidate

Interview questions usually revolve around a candidate’s work history, experience and unique...

6 FACTORS THAT CAN DRIVE UP INSURANCE COSTS FOR RESTAURANTS

Have you ever caught yourself wondering why your business’ premium changes over time? Odds are you...

[Updated 2022] What Is Inflation Guard & Have There Been Recent Developments?

In 2021, we saw a unique economic environment. Supply chains were affected dramatically and a few...

 The Rise of the Streatery: What it Is and Why Is it Popular?

As demand for outdoor dining has grown quickly, cities everywhere have seen streets transformed by...

5 Ways to Inspire Employees

A recent report revealed that 21% of millennial employees have changed jobs within the past year....

Why Periodic Roof Inspections Are Essential

When thinking of how to keep your business running smoothly, the outside of your business matters...

Three Tips for Engaging Remote Employees

Remote work has become increasingly popular over the last decade as more people look for work-life...

HOW TO REJECT CANDIDATES WITHOUT BURNING BRIDGES AFTER A JOB INTERVIEW

The landscape of human resources is changing rapidly. With the explosion of social media and sites...

Stay up to date with industry updates by subscribing to the Society Insurance blog!