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Cyber risks spare no market, sector, or company: Munich Re’s Martin Kreuzer

14th February 2019 - Author: Luke Gallin

The growing cyber threat is proving to be a challenge for all industries, markets and companies, no matter the shape or size, according to reinsurance giant Munich Re.

cyber securityCommenting on the Ryuk ransomware (an updated version of the HERMES ransomware family by North Korea APT Lazarus Group), Martin Kreuzer, a cyber expert at reinsurer Munich Re, explained how cyber threats are among the greatest risks arising from the increased digitalisation and interconnectedness of the world.

He explained that cyber risks are global, with no market, sector or company being spared, irrespective of its size.

Underlining just how impactful and costly cyber risk can be, Kreuzer noted that Ryuk, which was deployed in August 2018, is estimated to have generated roughly $2.5 million in ransom, as at January 14th 2019.

“The most well-known victim so far has been the US company “Tribune Publishing”. In this case, Ryuk caused printing and delivery disruptions to major US newspapers like New York Times, Wall Street Journal or The Los Angeles Times.

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“Another prominent victim has been cloud hosting provider Whereas these two examples have received some public attention, a greater number of smaller companies have been affected, too. This has almost gone unnoticed by the public and might be the more relevant aspect of the story,” said Kreuzer.

According to the cyber expert, some IT security service providers believe that the malware appears to have been designed to target small and medium-sized companies.

“The effect on small and medium-sized companies usually is worse than for the large corporates that use to have controls like a security incident and event monitoring in place as well as readily available resources for incidence response and business continuity.

“When faced with encrypted data sets, data centers as well as unavailable smart devices and machines, ransomware attacks can quickly turn into a business crisis. Managing and mitigating such a crisis with a professional partner is key in an increasingly interconnected and digitized world,” he explained.

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