(Reuters) – U.S. insurers are ramping up cyber-insurance rates by as much as 25% and trying to curb exposure to vulnerable customers after a surge of costly claims, industry sources said.
The changes follow a challenging year of hackers using malicious programs, known as ransomware, to take down systems that control everything from hospital billing to manufacturing. They stop only after receiving increasingly hefty payments.
Attacks - Problem - Cybersecurity - Experts
The attacks happened less frequently in 2019, but the problem remains significant, cybersecurity experts said.
“Ransomware is more sophisticated and dangerous than we saw in the past,” said Adam Kujawa, director of Malwarebytes Labs.
% - Ransomware - Incidents - Year - Malwarebytes
There were 6% fewer ransomware incidents in 2019 versus the prior year, according to Malwarebytes. However, attacks are now designed to spur deeper and more lasting technological problems, with hackers demanding bigger sums.
The average ransom of $41,198 during the 2019 third quarter more than tripled from the first quarter, according to Coveware, which helps negotiate and facilitate the payments.
Ransoms - Disproportionate - Size - Targets - Kelly
Ransoms are becoming disproportionate to the size of targets, said Kelly Castriotta, Allianz SE North American head of product development for financial lines. Hackers frequently pursue mid-size companies and other organizations that are less technologically adept, but also have less revenue to cover big ransoms.
“You’d expect a ransomware demand that you can pay,” Castriotta said.
US - Rate - Increases - Ransomware - Problems
The U.S. rate increases underscore broader global ransomware problems from which no company is immune.
Ransomware recently crippled foreign-exchange firm Travelex Ltd’s [TRVLXP.UL] systems for weeks, leaving staff to serve customers with pens and paper. Hackers...
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