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Property Casualty

Cyber Criminals: If Only They’d Use Their Expertise for Good

Rod Miner
Rod Miner
Vice President of Commercial Claims, Property Casualty

Do you ever hear or read about some thieves or bad guys, and while disagreeing with the outcome of their efforts, you’re actually kind of impressed with their creativity, patience, and expertise? You know the kind — hackers. What good could they do in this world if they applied their talents towards a common good instead of selfish hopes of a tainted fortune? A lot!

Now, think about this. In the time it took you to read that first paragraph, about three separate companies will have been hit by ransomware per this January article on Cloudwards.net. That same article indicated more than half of all U.S. companies they surveyed were hit by ransomware in 2020. What’s scary is that often times it can take up to 6 months to realize you have even been hit.

With this being such a huge issue, I wanted to draw special attention to cybercrime in this blog…specifically looking at the trends of 2020 and the help available to you!

A Look at Cyber Crime in 2020

The 2020 numbers indicate slightly more than 25 percent of all ransomware victims end up paying, and those payments are increasing in size. The average ransomware payments last year were nearly $180,000. That was nearly a 60 percent increase from just earlier in the year.

On top of this, there are two more areas that were significantly targeted in 2020.

Schools and Universities

According to this article, attackers are taking advantage of the pandemic as well. Schools and universities have become an attractive target for ransomware attacks, especially since they began classes virtually or hybrid environments due to COVID-19.

The Healthcare Industry

One of the most worrying trends of 2020 was the increased level of ransomware attacks against the healthcare sector.

In 2020, more than 750 healthcare providers were impacted with collective recovery costs nearing $4 billion.

Experts Working to Combat the Cyber Enemy

The good news is we have a lot of “good guys and gals” out there too! A great example is folks like our own Information Security Director, Bryan Thompson, who is working every day to keep Holmes Murphy and all of our companies clean and safe.

Then, there are our carriers and their forensic cyber security experts. Knowing these experts are always available to us, it’s more crucial than ever to let them know about cyber-related events ASAP — especially ransomware. They have a lot of tools they can bring to the table to help combat or resolve cyber issues.

Lastly, Holmes Murphy, in partnership with Digital Silence, will be hosting the webinar, “Cybercrime: Readiness & Resilience” for companies who would like to learn about the 2021 outlook around the cybersecurity threat landscape and what to do if your company is subjected to a cyber incident. The event is on Thursday, February 25, from 2-3 p.m. CT, and we’d love for you to join us!

In the meantime, if you have any questions on your cyber program or need help, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Let’s all do our part to keep the good guys ahead of the bad guys when it comes to cyber.

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