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Rising European cyber-attacks highlight need for specialist insurance cover

26 May 2021

Ransomware is one of the fastest-growing malware hazards of the 21st century with cyber-attacks threatening businesses and public institutions across Europe. A leading French electronics manufacturing service company, Asteelflash, is facing a demand for EUR 19.5m ($24m) in ransom.

It is understood that the French company suffered a cyberattack by the REvil ransomware gang who operate a ransomware-as-a-service business, which offers material support to other “affiliates” who handle the technical details of the attack. REvil affiliates get 70 to 80 percent of the ransom.

REvil threatens to release stolen data, by auctioning it off on its website if ransom demands are not met. Ransom payments are most often made through cryptocurrency with Taiwanese PC manufacturer, Acer, facing a demand for EUR 41m($50m) from REvil -the highest ransom yet.

France is second only to the United States in terms of total losses in the past year at EUR 4.5 billion ($5.5 billion) in both ransomware payments and recovery costs. In response, AXA France announced it will no longer reimburse ransomware payments for customers within the country. The new terms apply to new insurance policies going forward.

A strategically delivered W Denis Europe insurance policy will help 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 covering certain consequential financial costs and minimising business disruption.

It’s also known as cyber liability insurance, or data protection insurance. It’s there to make sure your business is protected against cyber crime – things like fraud, data theft and social engineering, where criminals attempt to fool you into parting with money, information or both. It also covers data breaches where sensitive information is accidentally shared.

Last year, Ransomware attacks were reported to have increased by 485% since 2019 and in April 2021 the European Council established a cybersecurity competence centre to pool investment in cybersecurity research, technology and industrial development.

It comes as the Irish Government has said it will not pay a ransom despite its health service facing  tens of millions of euros in costs to rebuild its IT systems after a cyber-attack.

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