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According to a report by Quartz Media, Ransomware attack frequency steadily increased in 2016 to almost 300 million attacks in the 4th quarter of 2016.  In total the number of Ransomware attacks went from 3.8 million in 2015 to 638.2 million in 2016.  Here are some of the reported recent victims:

 

Date

Incident

Payment

February 2016

Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center

$17,000

April 2016

Lansing Board of Water & Light

$25,000

September 2016

VESK cloud services

$22,800

November 2016

San Francisco Transit Authority

$73,000

 

Obviously prevention is the best course.   But if you do get hit with Ransomware, the Website NoMoreRansom.org  is a project that is just starting up that has tools that may help.  This is a good website address to keep around just in case. 

The rise is blamed on the appearance of freely available source code for Ransomware and the debut of online services that let amateurs cash in.  Ransomware is easy to use, low risk and offers a high reward.  The return on investment is very high.

Keeping your antivirus software and computer systems up to date can help.  But more importantly is staff training on how to recognize cyber-attacks.

Typically your accountant or lawyer malpractice insurance will not cover such claims unless it results in a malpractice or disciplinary issue.  Your business owner’s policy likely will not provide coverage unless endorsed.  Cyber Insurance many times is the best alternative for covering these types of risks.  L Squared represents a number of Cyber Liability Insurance carriers that specialize in insuring professionals. 

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