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Italian cyber-attack shows need for “ransomware” insurance

11 August 2021

Italian authorities have opened an investigation into a "very serious" cyber-attack which saw hackers disrupt COVID-19 vaccination bookings in the Lazio region, which includes Rome.

The official website was unavailable for several hours preventing citizens from booking appointments for a coronavirus vaccine, as well as other services. According to sources involved in this case, the site was attacked by "ransomware" hackers.

The attackers reportedly breached computer systems of LAZIOCrea, a third-party company in charge of scheduling and booking vaccination appointments, and from there they were able to deploy malware, which encrypted data on the system, including data associated with a large public health database.

In June this year, Italy created a national cybersecurity agency following warnings by Prime Minister Mario Draghi that Europe needed to protect itself from Russian “interference.” Italy tasked the new agency with developing strategies to prevent, monitor, detect and mitigate cyber-attacks and stepping up national defences.

This latest incident shows how no organisation is immune to the threats now posed by the explosion in ransomware attacks. The frequency and severity of these attacks has heightened in recent times, with some companies paying out tens of millions of dollars as a result.

The insurance market for cyber insurance has reacted to the deteriorating conditions with increased premiums and a more conservative underwriting approach. Firms with weak cyber security measures now find themselves uninsurable.

Even those firms with strong cyber security are not impenetrable to cyber-attacks, as seen in recent attacks against Microsoft as well as the US Government. W Denis procure market leading cyber insurance for organisations around the world, including major global corporations down to new business start-ups.

For further information visit or contact Vida Jarašiūnaitė

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