Ransomware – how to protect your business

Ransomware – how to protect your business

In the digital age as we know it today, there are countless cyber threats out there, and they have the potential to cause widespread damage to your business, finances, and reputation. The threat of ransomware is growing, and it is increasingly difficult for companies to recover from a ransomware attack. A cyber threat can prove to be very expensive for a business – but there are ways to prevent an attack, reduce the risks, and effectively recover after an attack.

Cyber insurance

Cyber insurance is one of the best lines of defence against the lasting effects of a cyber or ransomware threat or attack. A cyber attack can lead to massive losses for a business – not only financially, but also reputationally, tarnishing the relationship between consumer and business if not handled swiftly and effectively. Often, it takes a large sum of money to get back up and running (certainly more than the ransom itself), and it can take months to recover from an attack, not to mention the financial losses as a result of halted operations. A cyber insurance policy will offer you the means to get back up and running after an attack, or to pay the ransom to avoid further losses.

However, there is an argument against cyber insurance that is gaining momentum today.

Cyber insurance – does it encourage ransomware attacks?

In short, no. Why?

Ransomware isn’t targeted.

It’s incredibly time consuming and expensive for hackers to target one business specifically. So the growing argument that having cyber insurance encourages ransomware attacks is a flawed one. Rather than targeting one specific business, hackers will target many different systems at once, hoping something will get through the cracks. They find specific but widespread vulnerabilities, and look to use them to their advantage. In this way, they can distribute chaos widely, with a higher chance of success than if they focus all their energy on one source. Having a cyber insurance policy won’t encourage – or, for that matter, completely stop – cyber or ransomware threats, but it will mean you have another line of defence against them, and a means of recovery after an attack.

Your decision

Ultimately, when it comes to deciding to pay the ransom or not, it is your decision. Your cyber insurance providers will offer advice and bring in a professional team to assess the situation, but in the end it is your call whether or not to pay the ransom. While probably none of us like the idea of paying the hackers for their criminal behaviour, sometimes it is the option with the lowest risk. Regardless, you make the decision. If you decide against paying the ransom, your insurance provider will support your decision and cover the costs of recovery as outlined in your policy.

Other prevention

As is in their best interest, your insurance provider will work with you to prevent cyber and ransomware threats. You and your team will be educated about cyber safety, and how to respond to potential attacks or malicious cyber behaviour. Raising awareness about cyber attacks and ransomware is a great way of combating the threat, and you can expect to work closely with your insurance provider on this front.

Constant training and coaching of your team is necessary so that everyone can recognise potential threats. Limit user access and follow sound protocols for updating information and user logins regularly.

Recovery

Swift recovery is key when it comes to cyber attacks, especially when relating to your consumers, such as a breach of data that leads to their private information being leaked. The difficult road to recovery can be one of the reasons people choose to pay the ransom – the disruption to operations may be too much to recover from. Your reputation may be tarnished if you fail to respond swiftly and effectively after a threat, so having a sound cyber insurance policy behind you can help the recovery process. Your cyber insurance policy will provide cover for professionals brought in to help your recovery (or to negotiate with the hackers, if you are paying the ransom) – as well as the related losses from disruptions.

Claims

With your cyber insurance policy, you can expect claims to be paid relating to disruptions to your network, data breaches, ransomware attacks, and some other cyber threats. If you decide to pay the ransom, your insurance policy will cover this. If you decide not to, your insurance policy will reimburse your business for loss of income related to the attack, and costs to help you recover. Your insurance policy will provide you with peace of mind, knowing you are protected against loss of income, and have the means to get back into control quickly and effectively.

The Final Word

As the big wide web continues to expand and evolve, we can expect cyber threats to change and grow. Regular staff training, user access management and understanding potential threats are all steps you, your staff and your business should be taking to minimise the risk of a cyber attack – and to prepare to recover from one if necessary. A cyber insurance policy can offer peace of mind and another line of defence against cyber attacks – with another person in your ring, ready to fight for your business against the threat of ransomware.