The Increasing Threat of Cyber Extortion in an Increasingly Digital Environment
Instances of cyber extortion on large government departments and corporations are becoming increasingly common both in Australia and overseas. Statistics from the Australian Cyber Security Centre indicate a 15% rise in cyber extortion and ransomware attacks in Australia during the 2020-21 financial year. As a result, cyber insurers have experienced a significant rise in notifications and claims related to Ransomware and Social Engineering.
Cyber extortion usually begins with an email containing a malware file that the cybercriminal hopes will be opened by the email recipient. If the email is opened in most instances a message will appear advising the victim that their files have been locked and specifying an amount of time in which the victim needs to pay the ransom in cryptocurrency to have their data unlocked.
Social engineering scams are becoming more prevalent, as cyber criminals seek to trick and manipulate victims into revealing confidential information or making payments. These scams rely on exploiting individuals' trust to obtain sensitive details such as banking information and passwords, which are then used to make unauthorised transactions. Such scams are often carried out online, through methods such as email or social networking sites. A variety of social engineering scams exist, including supplier invoice fraud, data theft, phishing attacks, and email account hacking.
When a business becomes aware of a cyber attack, the events that follow and the process of managing the attack are best left to the experts. Cyber insurance can be a lifeline. Most cyber insurance policies have specialised IT support available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The insurer’s IT service provider will proactively review the policyholder’s back-up strategies and the origins and digital footprint of the hacker. Government regulations may prevent negotiations with a cybercriminal.
Should the unfortunate occur, a cyber insurance policy will provide peace of mind in relation to the cost and management of a cyber-attack on your business.
PIA’s insurance partner – Planned Cover are experienced in the placement of cyber insurance policies and encourage PIA members to make contact to review and discuss their risk mitigation requirements.
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PIA members are entitled to $100 off our professional fees when you take out a new professional indemnity insurance policy, and $50 off for all other insurance products.
Planned Cover State Manager Contacts:
Richard Aumann – Senior Account Manager VIC
(03) 8508 5400 / 0415 304 119
Simon Gray - State Manager NSW/ACT
(02) 9957 5700 / 0400 123 424
Karen Meiklejohn - State Manager QLD/NT
(07) 3017 1500 / 0417 006 896
Cos Cirocco - State Manager SA/TAS & National Business Manager
(08) 8363 7366 / 0438 442 870
Kylie McGrath - State Manager WA
(08) 9261 1200 / 0429 338 570