Ransomware: the number of attacks still on the rise in the United States

In the first quarter of 2020, there was a very significant 25% increase in ransomware attacks.

This result was published following a study published by a cybersecurity service provider named Beazley, by its computer security department Beazley Breach Response Services. According to brokerage firm Aon, Ransomware should be considered as the main source of problems in corporate IT.

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But the Canadian firm's report also highlights the explosion of online scams, which maximizes the concerns and doubts created by the current health crisis. "Cyber criminals are taking advantage of people's increased anxiety during this pandemic, prompting them to click and share links that steal information. Homeworkers may also have lower IT security than corporate networks. Organizations need to ensure that their security systems and protocols are up to date, and ensure that their colleagues working from home are extremely vigilant," said Katherine Keefe, Head of Beazley Breach Response.

According to the Canadian company's cybersecurity unit, the 25 percent increase in ransomware-based cybercrimes affected the manufacturing sector, which alone accounted for nearly 156% increase in the first quarter of 2020 alone, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019. In addition, all other services are also affected by an increase in attacks on their systems. Among other things, the financial and health sectors continue to see the number of attacks grow exponentially. Because if combined, these two domains account for half of phishing-based cyberattacks, according to Beazley in its report on the first quarter of 2020

As the interest of cyber criminals is much more focused on ransomware, it has been observed that attacks on commercial e-mails, still called in the compromised business email jargon, are down about 16% over the first three months, taking into account the evolution of 2019. According to the Canadian society's report: "The problem is certainly not gone. The explanation for this decline may possibly be that fewer email compromises have been detected and reported, due to the interruption caused by COVID-19."

So for the year 2020, based on the figures of the first 3 months, experts predict a domination of ransomware compared to other threats of a computer nature. Thus, claims to cybersecurity insurance will be based primarily on these incidents according to the insurance broker AON. An analysis from his 2019 study, U.S. Cyber Insurance Profits and Performance, which has retained nearly 192 U.S. insurance companies, primarily in the area of cybersecurity.

In addition, insurers have reported a 10% increase in their loss in 2019, due to a rather exceptional increase in Ransomwares attacks.Claims increased from 35% to 45%, depending on the persistence of cyber attacks and other incidents."The average frequency of claims from all companies analyzed was 5.6 per thousand policies, up from 4.2 in 2018. The jump in the frequency of claims has erased the effect of a reduction in the severity of claims. The average size of a cyber insurance claim increased from 50,401 $US (68,404 $CA) in 2018 to 48,709 $US (66,108 $CA) in 2019. Aon's report notes.

In addition, there was a significant increase (by 11% according to and report) in the cost of underwriting insurance for cybersecurity. And that's compared to 2018. An estimated US$2.26 billion (3.7 billion Canadian dollars). 69% of premiums were taken out by the 10 largest U.S. insurance companies. The rest of the market is shared among small insurers. Of the 192 companies analyzed in the report, 92 of them subscribed to insurance at nearly US$1 million. 41 of them went up to $5 million.

On the subject of losses, all companies, regardless of size, have suffered a certain category. Especially smaller companies.According to the insurance brokerage company, the cyber insurance sectors should be expected to grow, particularly in this segment.

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