Cyber insurers

The cyberattack called WannaCry started on Friday 12th May 2017.  Infection occurred within 24 hours. As a result, the virus spread to 230 00 computers.

The targeted computers ran on Microsoft Windows operating system.  The hackers encrypted the data.   In the result, they demanded ransom payments in Bitcoin.

The services in the United Kingdom provided were thus emergency-only.

A 22 year old web security researcher in England discovered an effective kill switch. He registered a domain name that he found in the code of the ransom ware. This therefore slowed down the spread of the infection.  New versions lack the kill switch.

Petya is a family of encrypting ransomware. Petya targets Microsoft Windows based systems. It prevents windows from booting and then demands payment in Bitcoin in order to regain access to the system. On 27 June 2017, a major global attack began utilising a new variant of Petya.

It is the opinion of Graeme Newman, chief innovation officer at CFC Underwriting that a combination of WannaCry’s wide reach and Petya’s destructive force could thus cost insurers about $2.5 billion in the near future.

Recently the manufacturers of Air Wick fresheners and Dettol cleaners had their manufacturing and distribution channels affected by a global attack.  The Dettol hygiene brand suffered a sales slowdown in India due to the cyber attack that crippled operations.

CFC underwrites approximately $100 million of cyber insurance premiums. It is therefore one of Europe’s biggest sellers of the product.

The global market for insurance then grew to about $3.4 billion in premiums in 2016.  Many businesses are unable to deal with cyber attacks. This is stated in a report from specialist insurers Hiscox. The report found 53% of the companies assessed were ill-prepared to deal with an attack.

In 2016 cyberattack cost the global economy over $450 billion and furthermore over 2 billion personal records were stolen. In the US alone, over 100 million Americans had their medical records stolen.