Understanding Ransomware as a Risk

Ransomware is a rising cyber-threat. In fact, the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021 found that the proportion of firms attached rose from 38% to 43%. Many suffered multiple attacks and around a sixth of firms (16%) reporting cyber attacks had to deal with a ransomware demand.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software, also known as malware, used to prevent a person from accessing their computer or its stored data. The computer itself may be locked, or the data on it might be stolen, deleted or encrypted. Usually, once the attack occurs, the attacker will use an anonymous email address with instructions for making a payment and getting the data back. This is where the ransom element comes in.

Businesses of all sizes can fall prey to ransomware gangs, for example even shipping giant Maersk were forced to shut down their website and large parts of their global operations in June 2017 following a major ransomeware attack.

However, those who are more prepared fare best when attacks happen. In order to minimise the lasting damage that can often accompany a ransomware attack, employers should consider taking the following actions:

Ransomware attacks can be devastating for organisations because computer systems are no longer available to use, and in some cases, data may never be recovered.

How to protect your business

The following preparations can help organisations recover more quickly from a ransomeware attack:

  • Identify critical assets and determine the impact if they were affected by a ransomware attack.
  • Develop an internal and external communication strategy to ensure that the right information reaches the correct people in a timely fashion.
  • Determine what the organisation’s response will be to a ransom demand.

Cyber Continuity & Incident Response Plan Toolkit

Cyber-continuity and incident response plans can help organisations better understand the nature of an attack, which, in turn, promotes a fast and thorough response to threats. Download our toolkit on how to create a cyber-continuity and incident response plan for your business.


For details of our Cyber Insurance Policies please contact our offices today.