Cybersecurity insurance is becoming a popular option for organizations looking to protect themselves from the financial risks of a cyberattack, but new data shows that organizations with cyber insurance may be more appealing to ransomware attackers.
According to Barracuda Networks, 77% of organizations with cyber insurance were hit by a successful ransomware attack in 2022, while just 65% of organizations without cyber insurance suffered the same fate.
The Campbell, Calif.-based firm’s 2023 Ransomware Insights report suggests that cybercriminals are more likely to target organizations with cyber insurance because insurers are typically willing to cover all or part of the ransom demand to speed up recovery.
However, Barracuda Networks’ report also shows that companies with cyber insurance were more likely to pay the ransom to get their data back, as 39% of organizations with cyber insurance paid the ransom compared to just 22% of organizations without cyber insurance.
In addition, organizations with cyber insurance were 70% more likely to be hit by two or more ransomware attacks.
According to the report, 63% of the global organizations surveyed for the report have cyber insurance, suggesting that ransomware actors continue to get paid and fund their activities.
Other findings in the report suggest that organizations hit with ransomware more than once were more likely to pay the ransom demand, as 42% of those hit three times or more paid the ransom to restore encrypted data. Meanwhile, 31% of victims of a single ransomware attack paid to restore their data.
As far as industries most targeted, Barracuda Networks’ research found that organizations in the energy, oil/gas and utility sector see an above-average success rate of ransomware attacks at 85%. This is due to the disruption that ransomware attacks can cause, as well as the size of the payout.
The company’s previous research into ransomware attacks showed that infrastructure-related cyberattacks have quadrupled. In addition, the sector is also the most likely to be affected by multiple attacks, with 53% reporting two or more successful ransomware incidents.
Other high targets of ransomware cited in the report include financial services and healthcare, but those sectors are less likely to be hit with multiple attacks.
Phishing emails are still the main delivery method leveraged by ransomware actors, with phishing accounting for 69% of attacks, followed by web applications and traffic. The research also found that 27% of the organizations surveyed feel they are not fully prepared to deal with a ransomware attack, suggesting that organizations are still behind when it comes to training and awareness.
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