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Insurance industry targeted by cyber-attack gangs

The United Kingdom is second only to the USA in the number of reported cyber-attacks with the insurance industry the most frequent focus of ransomware gangs in the first half of 2021.

The overall number of cyberattack incidents increased 125%, according to an Accenture PLC report. The United States was the area most impacted, accounting for 36% of the total volume of attacks, followed by the United Kingdom, at 24%.

Ransomware was the most frequent malware by category, accounting for 38% of attacks, followed by backdoors, which allow criminals to bypass normal authentication channels and gain remote access, which accounted for 33% of the total, the report said. 

The report showed that insurance accounted for 23% of the ransomware attacks by industry, followed by consumer goods and services (17%) and telecommunications (16%).

A strategically delivered insurance policy helps minimise business disruption during a cyber incident and its aftermath, as well as potentially covering the financial costs of some elements of dealing with the attack and recovering from it.

Cyber insurance helps protect organisations from the fallout from cyber-attacks and hacking threats by potentially covering certain consequential financial costs and minimising business disruption.

To highlight the current threat, it is reported Accenture released their cybersecurity report just several days after discovering the LockBit ransomware breach of its own systems.

According to a report from cybersecurity news site CyberScoop, Accenture had spotted the LockBit ransomware attack on its systems on July 30. The exact details as to when the breach occurred, when was it detected, its scope or, the technical cause of exploitation are yet to be known.

Accenture told BleepingComputer that affected systems had been recovered from a backup.

Accenture’s “global incident response analysis” report listed ransomware as one of the top three trends in cyber threats during the first half of 2021. Ransomware remained the biggest category of malware observed during that period.

“Ransomware is likely to remain one of the top threats to businesses globally,” Accenture said in a post. “If anything, it has entered a new phase as threat actors adopt stronger pressure tactics and capitalize on opportunistic intrusion vectors.”

Accenture reports that its client base includes 91 companies in the Fortune Global 100, along with more than three-quarters of the companies in the Fortune Global 500.

The attack on Accenture is the latest in a series of high-profile ransomware attacks, including the substantial breach of IT management software firm Kaseya in July by ransomware operator REvil.

More than one-third of all organisations globally have experienced a ransomware incident over the past 12 months, according to a recent report from research firm IDC.

In the  attack on Kaseya, REvil demanded US$70 million demand to decrypt victim files. Kaseya later said it obtained a decryptor for the ransomware, but did not pay the ransom.

W Denis has a specialist Cyber Insurance department, that can offer first class technical advice and competitive cyber insurance quotations. Solutions are available for multi-billion turnover businesses, down to small start-ups. To discuss this further with an expert at W Denis, please make arrangements with Daniel Moss at daniel.moss@wdenis.co.uk or on 0044 (0)113 2439812

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