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Oct 2021

Cyber criminals target remote workers, critical infrastructure and corner stores

Source: Middle East Insurance Review | Sep 2021

The share of cyber attack insurance claims surged by 50% in the first half of 2021 as compared to the first half of 2020 according to a report by US cyber insurer Coalition.
Coalition’s cyber insurance claims report for the first half of 2021 analysed claims data up to June 2021 from 50,000 customers in the US and Canada. The analysis reveals that ransom demands have grown over the past year, smaller companies are increasingly targeted and cyber criminals continue to take advantage of dislocations in how we work.
The report says 2.4% of the insurer’s customers filed a cyber claim in the first half of 2021 compared to 1.6% in the first half of 2020. The frequency of claims against policyholders with fewer than 250 employees jumped 57% during that period.
The increased automation of cyber attacks, as well as the more widespread use of insecure remote access tools during the pandemic, has left these organisations exposed and created new opportunities for cyber criminals.
“Criminals seized the opportunity, increasing the sophistication of their operations and evolving their tactics with precision. They started targeting new industries, smaller businesses, and smaller pockets,” said the report.
The cyber insurer is backed by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Arch Insurance, Lloyd’s of London and Argo Group. It provides cyber and technology insurance in US and Canada.
Coalition co-founder and CEO Joshua Motta said, “It’s clear that ransomware and other cyber crimes have escalated considerably in the past year. Bad actors are targeting everything from critical infrastructure to the corner store.”
The report said the analysis shows that cyber criminals seized an opportunity created by the COVID-19 pandemic when employees began working remotely. Many companies failed to recognise that what makes it easier for their employees to access accounts and sensitive information also makes it easier for hackers to target and access the same information. M 
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