Ransomware has hit the headlines in the last few months because of the colossal cyber attack known as ‘WannaCry’. Not only did the attack take down many of the crucial computer networks within the NHS, it hit companies like FedEx, Telefonica and more.
The malware encrypted the data on the machines, rendering it inaccessible. Those behind the attack then demanding a ransom, to be paid in Bitcoin, for the secure return of the data and access to the networks. In the NHS, everything from surgical theatre equipment to triage systems was affected, while other companies around the world ground to a halt entirely.
The most concerning thing for businesses is that ‘WannaCry’ is not an isolated event – and as ransomware technology grows and evolves, it won’t be the last attack of its kind. Symantec estimates that there were more than 450,000 ransomware attacks last year alone – a huge jump from 2015 when there were just over 340,000.
Cyber security becomes more important than ever
Cyber security must become part of the business landscape. Malware and cyber attacks like this are just as much of a threat as a physical theft or damage to a business’ premises. It’s absolutely vital that businesses take out cyber insurance in order to protect themselves against this fast-evolving threat.
It’s estimated that 10% of the UK businesses that were hit by WannaCry will not have cyber insurance – leaving them seriously out of pocket as a result of the hack. Experts also claim that more than 9 in 10 cyber claims in the UK come from SMEs – businesses with less than £50m in revenue. It’s not only the enormous organisations and corporations that are hit by cyber attacks and ransomware – it’s small businesses that are especially vulnerable.
How to protect your small business against ransomware attacks
If you’re concerned about ransomware attacks, here are some tips to help protect your small business against this threat:
- Treat email attachments with caution, even if they’re from someone you know. Always ensure you have software that can scan attachments before you open them.
- Never click links in emails without checking that the URL they lead to matches up with the sender.
- Always ensure your antivirus and firewall software is running the latest version. Cybercriminals often exploit the security holes left by companies that don’t update their software regularly.
- Backup everything regularly. Back up your data into the cloud or an external drive held at another location that isn’t on your network.
Finally, the most important tip to protect yourself against ransomware attacks is to take out cyber insurance. Make sure your policy covers legal expenses, business losses, cyber extortion costs and other expenses your business may incur as a result of a ransomware attack or other form of cyber threat.
For more information about cyber insurance for your business, contact the team at Morpheus Insurance today.