Cybercriminals utilize devices/ computers/ computers to disable systems, purloin data, or take advantage of an already breached system to form an attack flow. Cyber-attacks involve malware and viruses and the objective behind them could be:
- On international borders: cyber-warfare
- Intruding security bars
- Interfering with someone’s personal information without permission
These attacks have made the public well aware of debit card, unsecured, and secured credit card fraud – though the numbers/ cases are not decreasing with time.
- As per Federal Trade Commission’s Annual Data Book, the year 2020 witnessed 459k credit card (unsecured and secured credit card) frauds and approximately 63k debit card fraudulent cases.
This is why businesses and organizations have dedicated security teams to strategize protection against always-booming cyber-attacks today. Updated security software, strong passwords, data backup, doing background checks of employees, and cyber liability insurance are some of the many measures companies consider for attack prevention.
- $1 trillion spending on cyber security products/ services is expected to increase from 2017 to 2021.
Table of Contents
- Hurtful Consequences of Cyber Crime on Businesses
- Advantages of Cyber Spying
- Dangerous Cyber Attacks Witnessed (2021)
- Strategies of Cyber Security Risk Management
- Cyber Liability Insurance
- Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage
- Cost of Cyber Risk Insurance
- Tips That Would Help in Purchasing a Suitable Cyber Insurance
Hurtful Consequences of Cyber Crime on Businesses
In present times, cloud solutions and web applications are widening the scope of businesses to reach masses and customers are no longer required to be physically present at a company outlet to interact with it.
On the other hand, however, these internet solutions have made the company systems reachable to cyber hackers. The consequences can range from minor levels to major ones for businesses:
1. Increased Costs
There is a cost a company has to bear whether or not the company has faced a cyber-attack. Protection software/ technologies, insurances, expenses of security teams, etc. have a cost. In case you have encountered a security attack, lawyer/ attorney fees have to be paid for the continuation of civil cases.
2. Reputation/ Consumer Trust
When you are in an industry where companies are offering similar products and services, consumers are choosing you over others due to many reasons; while customer trust is one of the many primary factors.
Cybercrimes can snatch this trust and bringing the older consumer base won’t be that easy!
3. Operational Disturbance
Cyber intruders can attack, disrupt, and erase a company’s valuable information which can disturb operations of the company and its normal activities.
The wreckage is severe if the victim is a government agency.
4. Intellectual Property Theft
- Strategy/ Planning
- Product design/ formula
- Technologies utilized
Above are some of the many assets which the organizations keep a secret and ensure their products/ services are unique. Such cloud attacks if they hack/ rob these assets – the company’s intellectual property plusses go on stake.
5. Company Revenues
When the news of a cyber-attack breaks in public, customers get reluctant to interact with such organizations leading to revenue and client loss. Therefore, organizations pay noble attention to securing themselves from cybercrime.
Advantages of Cyber Spying
– The cost of cybercrime is estimated to reach $10.5 trillion by 2025 worldwide.
One may wonder if there are any plusses of it. Well, the growth in such attacks has grown an immense industry of people helping, working, and training others to provide a shield against cyber spying.
Types of Cyber Attacks
- SQL Injection
- DNS Tunneling
- MitM Attacks
1. Sql Injection
It stands for Structured Query Language. It is also abbreviated as SQLi. An application makes some queries to its database. The intruder is enabled to access the data which is not normally available to others.
Passwords, user information, unsecured and secured credit card details are normally stolen if SQL injection is performed successfully. The hacker may delete or edit these particulars.
2. DNS Tunneling
IP addresses are translated from domain names utilizing a protocol called DNS. DNS stands for Domain Name System. With the intention to take control over applications and remote servers, the attackers encode other programs’ protocols/ data in Domain Name System’s queries and responses.
DNS tunneling may result in:
- By-passing secured portals
- File transferal outside networks without permission
- Remote system access
- Dodging from paying for Wi-Fi access
- 57% of cyber-attacks on small businesses are phishing.
An attacker pretends to be a reputable and trustable source, a user thus faiths the attacker, and a phishing attack becomes possible.
Phishing objective may be
- Introducing malware into prey’s device
- Breaking into sensitive information (login and credit card info)
4. MitM Attacks
MitM stands for eavesdropping/ man-in-the-middle attacks. It is like active eavesdropping, two parties believe that they are communicating with nobody in between but little do they know that an attacker has inserted himself/ herself in between the two parties.
The attacker can read and modify these messages b/w two parties. These sorts of attacks are also known as monkey-in-the-middle, monster-in-the-middle, and machine-in-the-middle crimes.
– Ransomware activity accounted for a $416 million loss in the first half of 2021.
A malicious code is designed to access, snip, and/ or abolish data in the victim’s devices. Designed to harm networks, programmable devices/ services – malicious software has myriad forms: spyware, ransomware, worms, etc.
Financial data, emails, passwords, healthcare records are some of the many sorts of data, malware attackers are normally engrossed in.
Dangerous Cyber Attacks Witnessed (2021)
1. Bombardier Inc.
Bombardier is a business jet manufacturer headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Its production sites, customer support networks, and engineering sites are present in 12 countries.
In February 2021, the company revealed that its employee -130 employees in Costa Rica- information, customer, and supplier data were affected by cyber crime. The attackers used zero-day vulnerability and ransomware to steal large company files.
2. Florida Water Supply
In February 2021, a hacker hacked Florida’s west coast’s water supply and increased sodium hydroxide (lye/ caustic soda) level from 100 parts/ million to 11,100 parts/ million.
Such high content usually cause:
- Severe pain
When the plant operator found this change, he reversed the contents to their normal levels. Had it not been changed back, the water supply authorities claim that it would still be detected before supplying to the public.
JBS is a meat processing company based in Brazil. Sales-wise, it is the largest producer of beef. Hackers launched a ransomware attack on the company’s system and threatened to disrupt the company’s data if the money in the form of Cryptocurrency was not paid.
This activity resulted in the closure of operations in the States, Canada, and Australia. The company thus paid $11 million in ransom after the plants were handed over from the cybercriminals.
4. CNA Insurance
One of the largest insurance companies in the States, CNA Financial Corporation faced a ransom attack in March 2021 conducted by Russia based hacking organization. This attack compromised the data of CNA’s 75k employees.
The attackers demanded $40 million to free CNA’s systems.
Strategies of Cyber Security Risk Management
Whatever the size of the companies big or small, if they are carrying any operation online, like emails, online payments, internet usage, they are at risk of cybercrime.
Yes, it is possible to detect and remove cyber hacking activities before damage but several companies even today are unable to fight against them. Thus, it’s of immense importance that companies devise strategies and utilize tools/ software/ insurance to protect themselves!
A proper cyber security risk management would benefit as:
- Protection of revenues
- Business reputation by prioritizing cyber security to protect your customers and associated parties
- Mitigating risk of attacks
- Decreased costs
A cyber risk management plan can have various forms depending upon the exclusive strategy of the organization. Some common stages of such a strategy could be:
- Identification of precious digital assets of an organization as they are more likely to be broken into.
- Determine top cyber threats that the company can face: malware, phishing, insider threats, etc.
- Assess your security levels
- Awareness of cyber security policies to employees through training
- Beforehand activities like security software and cyber liability insurance
- Incident response plan created to address the time when/ if an attack occurs
Cyber Liability Insurance
Above we have discussed the types of cyber threats, and their destructive consequences – the cyber liability insurance prevents the company from data loss if any of the following occurs:
- Security breach
- Service interruption
- Network outage
This insurance is also referred to as cyber risk insurance, data-breach liability insurance, and cyber security insurance. If the company’s data or computer systems are ambushed, this insurance plan prevents the company costs. Liability insurance helps the organization in a lawsuit against hackers.
The insurance policies vary depending upon the plan bought and its price/ exclusions. Organizations opt for those which seem parallel and are complimenting with their risk management strategy.
Some good cyber insurance companies for 2021 are Travelers, The Doctors Company, CyberPolicy, and AmTrustFinancial.
Cyber Liability Insurance Coverage
It depends upon the insurance plan thus purchased. If the risk of security threats is higher, you would be going for more premiums. And vice versa, if the risk is low – you won’t be needing comparatively expensive cyber risk insurance.
A cyber insurance consultant can be called to help you with identifying and analyzing risks and insurance requirements. He/ she may inquire you about:
|Do you have access to any extremely sensitive data?|
|Have you previously claimed any cyber insurance?|
|Who has access to the (if any) sensitive information of the company/ industry?|
|What kind of preventive measures have you already taken to shield the sensitive data?|
|Do you have any insurance limitations and requirements, if yes what are they?|
Cyber security insurance lends coverage in the forms of:
- Income lost due to breakage in system networks
- Cost of employee confidentiality
- Regulatory fines
- If the computer/ electronic device is insured, the insurance protects against operations costs increased due to cyber theft
- Lawsuits filed by employees and customers if any data breach occurs
- Cost of compromised data in form of intellectual property desecrations
- Payments in form of ransom demanded by cybercriminals
Cost of Cyber Risk Insurance
The cost of cyber liability insurance depends upon some factors:
|Annual Revenue||The higher the revenues/ annual income of a company, the higher the insurance companies put you at threat risk against cybercrime. As a result, you would be paying more for the insurance.|
|Size and Industry Type||Some industries face higher cyber-attacks than others like finance, insurance, retail, education, energy, etc.More number of employees means more electronic devices employed and more risk of phishing.|
|Beforehand Security Measures||Lesser premiums would be needed by the companies which have invested in preventive procedures and security efforts against cyber hackers.|
|Amount of Sensitive Data||A high-risk company owns very sensitive information and would therefore be requiring a more secured and probably more expensive cyber liability insurance plan.|
Tips That Would Help in Purchasing a Suitable Cyber Insurance
- Identify your Cyber Risks
- Protection of Unencrypted Devices
- Policy Terms
- Already-owned protection from Cyber Attacks
- Coverage for the costs associated with Data Restoration
1. Identify your Cyber Risks
Before making a purchase you should evaluate your need and its level. The insurance plans have exclusions and coverage options. You wouldn’t want to splurge on a coverage/ prevention you/ your company does not require.
2. Protection of Unencrypted Devices
Today is the trend of remote work. Employees tend to work from home or at other places outside offices. If that’s the case, you better ensure that your insurance plan protects such unencrypted devices and provides coverage for losses if occurred.
3. Policy Terms
You better ensure that the wording of the policy is parallel to the protection you assume the insurance plan promises to lend just before signing the agreement.
4. Already-owned protection from Cyber Attacks
Many third-party and first-party companies provide several sorts of coverage, so while buying the insurance plan – analyze this existing coverage to choose the best plan suitable.
5. Coverage for the costs associated with Data Restoration
If your company is potentially at risk of a data breach, you would want an insurance plan which provides coverage for the costs associated with data restoration.
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