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Industry Has Important Role In Combatting Ransomware – Geneva Association

Industry Has Important Role In Combatting Ransomware - Geneva Association

Industry Has Important Role In Combatting Ransomware – Geneva Association 

Industry Has Important Role In Combatting Ransomware – Geneva Association

According to a recent analysis from the Geneva Association, private re/insurers play a significant role in assisting in the fight against the growing threat posed by ransomware.

The report asserts that cyber insurance offers protection from attacks as well as coverage for first- and third-party losses incurred by victims as well as assistance to businesses in preventing and managing incidents. It also argues that governments and regulators should do more to combat ransomware attacks and supports keeping ransom payments legal.

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Jad Ariss, managing director of the association, said: “With ransomware we see an example of the important ‘prevention and mitigation’ role insurers play as risk managers. They control a critical lever with their ability to incentivise customers to maintain strong cybersecurity controls and standards, helping to reduce firms’ vulnerability to attack and boost their cyber resilience.”

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Industry Has Important Role In Combatting Ransomware – Geneva Association 

He added: “Governments and regulators have their levers, too, and as our report highlights, they need to rein in the illegal use of cryptocurrencies and do more to ensure information exchange about incidents as well as improve international cooperation among law enforcement.”

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The report was authored by Darren Pain, director of cyber and evolving liability; and Dennis Noordhoek, director of public policy and regulation. Both men work for the Geneva Association.

They wrote: “Ransomware attacks have been a significant factor in the notable deterioration in cyber insurers’ underwriting performance over the past two years. In aggregate, the loss ratio on US cyber insurance rose from 44.6% in 2019 to 66.9% in in 2020, with ransomware accounting for three quarters of claims according to credit rating agency AM Best. While the bulk of ransomware claims reflect recovery and remediation costs from an attack, including business interruption, the share associated with the reimbursement of ransoms has increased.”

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Writing about ransomware payments, the pair wrote: “By paying ransoms, firms also potentially incentivise ransomware criminals and in the process amplify the risk of future attacks on themselves or others. While this economic externality exists whether or not the victim of a ransomware attack is insured, some external commentators have expressed concern that the presence of insurance could make the situation worse by encouraging targeted ransomware attacks on those with cover.

Industry Has Important Role In Combatting Ransomware – Geneva Association 

Governments have also hinted at the unintentional impact that insurance may have on ransomware extortion, highlighting how the ransoms demanded are often tailored to the amount insured under the cyber insurance policy.”

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The market remains, however, a smaller one in comparison to the rest of the industry.

Pain and Noordhoek wrote: “The cyber insurance market remains small but nascent. Premiums represent less than 1% of the global property and casualty market while some reports indicate that only around a third of small businesses purchase this kind of protection. To help the market develop further, policymakers should therefore avoid measures that could inadvertently discourage households and firms from buying cyber insurance. Instead, policies that aim to safeguard cyberspace, promote cybersecurity and undermine cybercriminals’ business models will help to counter malware attacks and increase re/insurers’ appetite to absorb cyber risks from those less able to deal with them.”


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