Ransomware Featured on 60 Minutes Tonight

By Travis Holt

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is one of the most frequent cyber liability claims we see.  As a result, ransomware gets a lot of press and tonight 60 Minutes ran a feature on the prevention of ransomware infections.  Ransomware occurs when a hacker takes your computer systems, critical data, or other critical infrastructure hostage.  The hacker demands a ransom and won’t release your systems or information until you pay the ransom.  Frequently the ransom is requested in bitcoin or other crypto currencies.  Experts are split on whether or not you should pay the ransom if your systems are infected.

Why is ransomware important?

Businesses are relying on technology more than ever.  As a company relies more on technology to generate revenue, the financial exposure to a technology failure is greater.  The operational risk associate with a ransomware attack is higher than with any other method of cyber attack.  Whether you’re a surgery center who relies on technology to perform procedures or a sports team who relies on technology to generate revenue on game day, ransomware can be crippling.

You can buy insurance that covers ransomware

There was a recent article about a large US city that didn’t know their cyber insurance policy covered ransomware.   Well-written cyber liability insurance policies will cover ransomware.  However, there are exclusions that can reduce or remove coverage altogether even if you purchase specific coverage for ransomware.  Make sure you consult with your broker and understand how your cyber liability policy will respond if your system gets taken hostage.

A link to the 60 Minutes Overtime feature on ransomware – https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ransomware-prevent-your-computer-from-being-infected-60-minutes-2019-08-25/