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Ransoms demanded to ransoms paid on the decline: Corvus

1st December 2021 - Author: Katie Baker

Corvus Insurance has released a new report, showing the insights and tools used by risk managers, IT departments, security researchers, and solution providers to hone their offerings and approaches to keeping organisations safe from evolving cyber threats.

Corvus LogoThe report looked at ransomware which has quickly become a dominant force in cyber risk, but its proliferation and the range in demands across various industries has continued to fluctuate.

Corvus recognised a rise in ransomware claims from Q2 2020 through Q1 2021 (0.25% to 0.58% increase in frequency), but then experienced a drop by 50% in Q2 2021 that largely sustained through Q3 2021.

While the reduced frequency has been linked to the shutdown of ransomware groups such as Darkside and REvil, the costs associated with a ransomware claim have continued to shift as recovery remains top of mind for businesses.

The report showed that ransomware claims which resulted in payment shrank from 44% in Q3 2020 to just 12% by Q3 2021.

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This decrease in demand-to-pay ratio is likely due to improved preparedness and resiliency on the part of policyholders and their backups, allowing for breach response professionals to handle ransomware situations more efficiently and get companies back online faster.

Overall, ransomware attacks remain costly as the average cost for 2021 remains steady at $142,000.

While there was a spike in the average cost of a ransomware attack in Q3 2021, the average is composed of fewer overall attacks, and fewer attacks where any ransom was paid.

For technology vendors, a cyberattack or other outage linked to their products or services can result in major costs from defending lawsuits brought by customers who suffered outages or lost data as a result of the incident — and that is on top of any first-party remediation and recovery efforts.

Corvus found that a company with 250 or more employees is 216% more likely to sue their tech vendor than a company with 10 or fewer employees, and twice as likely as a company with 11-50 employees.

Media companies (publishers, TV networks, etc.) and metals manufacturers are 50% more likely to sue their technology vendors than the average business, while insurers are around 20% more likely.

COVID-19 ignited rapid shifts in technology usage as remote work became more prevalent, and Corvus’s proprietary scan provided data to analyse trends from two major IT security measures: accessible remote desktop protocol (RDP) and email security.

After RDP became widely classified as an attack vector in 2020, its presence in IT systems dropped by 50% in 2021.

Email phishing continues to be a popular launching pad for cyber crimes against businesses, but fortunately there are a number of cloud-based security tools that can be implemented to thwart these threats.

Corvus recognised a 2.5x (158%) lift in the usage of email security software across all industries, contributing to the reduction of these widespread threats.

Phil Edmundson, Founder and CEO of Corvus Insurance said: “Over the past few years, the cybersecurity landscape has completely erupted with sophisticated forms of cyber attacks, creating many challenges for today’s security professionals.

“This report provides the analysis needed to empower organisations to continue enhancing their offerings and keep our world safe from destructive threat actors.”

Madhu Tadikonda, President of Corvus Insurance commented: “By tapping into the advanced capabilities of our IT scanning technology, we’re proud to share actionable data to increase awareness around the current state of cyber risk technology and help eliminate the impact of adverse events — especially as we approach the end of a pivotal year.

“We hope this report will spark new cybersecurity innovation and spread awareness on how lower-effort, high-impact measures can make a significant difference in any organisation’s risk.”

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