As we enter the third quarter of the year, recent news of cyber-attacks are capturing the attention from every corner of the globe. It’s not a stretch to assume that everyone reading this blog post has in one form or another been party to a data breach. Within the last 90 days, cyber criminals have turned their attention towards infrastructure disrupting a major gas pipeline, dozens of government agencies, Florida’s water supply and one of the world’s top meat producers. These attacks have exposed the vulnerability of products and services that are essential to our daily lives.

The first half of 2021 has seen a 102% rise in ransomware attacks in comparison to the same timeframe recorded last year. Hackers are not just in the business to steal sensitive data or money online, the prospect of bigger targets coincides with the opportunity for bigger payouts. Infrastructure attacks have a greater likelihood to spark chaos, instill fear, lead to product shortages and drive higher prices. This cocktail is a recipe for inflicting as much pain as possible to coerce companies to pay out large sums for relief. Unfortunately, there is proof in concept as companies and/or their insurers have paid millions to restore their operations.

There is a battle raging across the internet as our networks and data are being attacked from all sides. This month’s blog post features a comprehensive 24-page report that is published annually by a leading provider of cyber insurance. The readiness report is a snapshot of where the cyber attacks are originating from, who is being targeted, statistical data reporting, infographics and other relative information for evaluating cyber readiness. There are a number of tools that our advisers use to help our customers assess their cyber exposure. A combination of methods must be used to help mitigate your cyber risk and while insurance is a critical element, it should not be the sole remedy. We hope you will take a few minutes to browse the 2021 Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report for the purpose of building some familiarity with the magnitude of this issue at hand. Our next hope is that you schedule time to bring together members of your organization for a discussion of the topic at large. Some good discussion topics include the following essential elements to your company’s data security policy: 

• Data Privacy
• Password Management
• Internet Usage
• E-mail Usage
• Company-Owned Devices
• Employee-Owned Devices
• Social Media
• Software Copyright and Licensing
• Security Incident Reporting

Lastly, please consider engaging a member of HAWK’s Commercial Risk Adviser team into your conversations for resources, options and advice to serve alongside your business.