May 28, 2021

Atlas Insurance Agency discusses cybersecurity threats in the work from home era

Atlas Insurance Agency discusses cybersecurity threats in the work from home era

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The threat of ransomware to vulnerable networks has become an increasing source of insurance claims, especially for smaller businesses that do not have robust protections for their systems compared to larger corporations, according to Atlas Insurance Agency.

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The work-from-home era has only emboldened cybercriminals, who attempt to gain access to businesses’ systems, often through a phishing scheme, and threaten to erase valuable data unless they receive a large sum of money.

“Everyone was deployed virtually. Everyone was scattered, working from home,” Atlas president Chason Ishii said. “But the challenge is, cybersecurity didn’t keep up.”

Local businesses have been hit, and hit hard in some instances, he said.

Amounts per cyber claim have routinely been “higher than just a few thousand,” according to Atlas Executive Vice President of Sales and Retention Carol Davis.

Atlas emphasized the need for companies to go through online security training with their employees to minimize risk; it can only take one careless, remote-working employee clicking on a dubious link to allow attackers into a company’s network.

They also urge people to consider a cyber insurance carrier, which in some cases of an attack will advise the business to pay off a ransom — reimbursed through insurance — in order to prevent a data wipe.

According to a national risk-based security analysis by Aon Data in November, ransomware attacks were up 346% in the third quarter of 2020 as compared to the third quarter of 2018. Aon cited another study projecting $20 billion in ransom damages in 2021, compared to $11.5 billion in 2019.

One preventative measure businesses can undertake is backing up their systems offline so attackers do not have access to all copies of things like a client list.

Ishii and Davis elaborated on some cybersecurity trends they’ve noticed in recent months:

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