Ransomware is one of the largest cybersecurity threats small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) face. Unfortunately, with every passing month, the threat increases. The year 2020 was a breakthrough year for cybercriminals as the number of their attacks increased an unbelievable 485% over the numbers published in 2019. Furthermore, ransom amounts have tripled.

Cyber Insurance as a Cost Mitigation Solution

Cyber insurance is an industry niche rapidly growing in popularity with businesses of all sizes. As cyber threats increase, SMBs and their larger counterparts are transferring the residual risks associated with cyber incidents caused by threat actors to insurance companies. While this is a smart strategy as cybersecurity events and data breaches can get pretty expensive, you don’t want to rely solely upon cyber insurance when it comes to ransomware.

Insurance Companies Can’t Keep Up With Ransomware

Unfortunately, the number of attacks is growing so quickly, insurance companies can’t feasibly keep up since insurance payouts are rapidly exceeding the premiums taken in. As ransom demands increase, this further compounds the problem. And as this industry niche corrects itself, ransomware coverage is likely to be very limited for SMBs. If you want to protect yourself, you’ll want to take additional steps that don’t solely rely upon insurance.

Good Cyber Hygiene Can Fend Off Ransomware Exploits

Almost every industry has been severely impacted by threat actors exploiting them through ransomware attacks. Not only does this impact the business, but it can also significantly affect customers and the general public, such as the attack on the Colonial Pipeline earlier this year. The massive SolarWinds’ ransomware attack had substantial ripple effects, impacting customers and customers of customers. As an SMB, you can fend off cyber criminals by practicing good cyber hygiene as a risk mitigation approach. Here are some strategies you can utilize.

  • Performing frequent vulnerability scanning to find areas cybercriminals can exploit.
  • Using multi-factor authentication and employing “need to access” steps so only legitimate users access certain databases or information.
  • Ensuring consistent security updates and patches of critical systems are run to reduce vulnerabilities.
  • Offering employees cybersecurity training so they recognize threats and the different channels cybercriminals use to deploy them.
  • Backing up data and storing it off internal networks to enable business continuity and not fall prey to hackers demanding ransom.
  • Utilizing encryption to protect confidential and sensitive data, reducing the chances hackers will be able to read anything they pilfer.
  • Performing risk mitigation assessment on a routine basis to determine current threats faced.

Once these and other good cyber hygiene practices are deployed, you’ll want to document and test your incident response plans to ensure no steps have been missed and that things will occur as planned in the event of an attack.

Sadly, these days, it’s not “if” any type of cyber attack occurs, it’s more a matter of “when.” All combined, you can significantly reduce your risk of ransomware and other cyber threats and alleviate the potential impact by being proactive, especially if you connect with an expert partner who can help you prepare and protect yourself against ransomware attacks.

Trava is your partner in complete cyber risk management. To learn more about our services and how we can help you assess and understand your risks, provide insight to help you improve your cyber hygiene (while keeping compliant with any regulatory or legal requirements), and obtain cyber insurance, contact us today. Our team of experts is always happy to answer any questions.

Remember, threats, vulnerabilities, and risks can come at small businesses from a lot of different angles. In order to manage cyber risk, businesses must first understand where they are most vulnerable. Watch as Trava software architect Josh Hurst gives a live demo of Trava’s automated assessment platform.