How Does West Virginia Cyber Insurance Protect You From Ransomware?

As many amazing things technology offers—more connection, convenience, and access to information—inherent risks are present for any company or individual who makes technology an everyday part of their lives. There has been a shocking increase in cyber attacks across the United States—including smaller states like West Virginia. 

According to recent stats:

  • The largest fee paid for a ransomware data recovery is $50 million
  • In 2021, 37% of businesses were victims of ransomware attacks
  • A computer was infected with ransomware every eleven seconds in 2021
  • The average 2021 cost to recover from a ransomware attack was $1.85 million
Person with computer protected thanks to cyber insurance.

Many of these attacks are well-publicized, raising the concerns of consumers. According to a survey of online consumers in the summer of 2020, almost half of respondents reported they would delete a social media app if they found out their data was compromised, while 36% reported changing their passwords more frequently. 

The implication is a growing relationship between businesses’ ability to keep their customers’ data secure and consumers’ loyalty. Businesses hoping to grow into the future can increase their competitive edge by adopting best practices regarding cyber security, preventing attacks, and having an air-tight action plan for a response should the worst happen. Services such as cyber insurance are emerging as a powerful tool to help guard against the fallout often caused by ransomware attacks.

The realities of ransomware may seem far fetched for West Virginia, as we are a smaller state with no major cities or infrastructure. However, ransomware attacks don’t discriminate. Recently, the West Virginia school system experienced a ransomware attack that inhibited schools from using key technology in the classroom. 

What Is Ransomware?

According to a public service announcement published by the Federal Bureau Of Investigation, ransomware is defined as “a form of malware that encrypts files on a victim’s computer or server, making them unusable. Cybercriminals demand a ransom in exchange for providing the key to decrypt the victim’s files.”

As technology becomes more sophisticated, so do ransomware attacks. Cybercriminals can run increasingly targeted attacks, effectively extorting more money from the victims. As mentioned above, the average cost for a business to recover from a ransomware attack was $1.85 million. 

Between the costs of recovering data from a cybercriminal and plummeting consumer confidence, ransomware attacks can devastate a company’s bottom line. This can wreak havoc on a business’s customer base, as a well-publicized cyber attack can influence consumers to take their business to a competitor. This puts customer data at risk, making it impossible for a company to deliver services or goods securely. 

How Does A Computer Get Infected With Ransomware?

While the methods of ransomware infection evolve with technology’s capabilities, there are several established ways ransomware can infect an innocent West Virginia computer.  

1. Email Phishing

Ransomware can be installed through emails that contain a link that, once clicked, installs harmful malware on the user’s computer. Most people have become aware of this method and recognize the signs of phishing: strange sender email address, an email they weren’t expecting (especially on their work email), and seemingly nonsensical content within the email.

However, phishing campaigns are becoming increasingly sophisticated and targeted. Business tech teams are wise to update their employees on the latest trends to protect them from becoming victims of an email phishing ransomware scheme.

2. Remote Desktop Vulnerabilities

Ransomware can be installed through remote desktop vulnerabilities when a cybercriminal uses various methods to identify access-granting credentials. Whether getting credentials over the dark web marketplace or employing trial and error methodologies, once the perpetrator can access the computer, the ransomware can then be installed.

3. Software Vulnerabilities

Cybercriminals will sometimes deploy ransomware in widely-used software systems with security weaknesses. When this is successfully executed, the cybercriminal can deploy ransomware through the software.

How To Reduce Your Risk And Impact Of Ransomware Infection

According to a US Government report, businesses and individuals can minimize the risk and impact of ransomware victimization through the following best practices:

  • Regularly back up your data and store it in a secure offline location such as an external hard drive.
  • For businesses, integrate a regular training program to promote employee awareness. These trainings should be frequently updated, as technology evolves quickly.
  • Ensure employees only have the file and access permissions they need and nothing more.
  • Implement multi-factor authentication.
  • Regularly update your systems.
  • Review your incident response plan.

Unfortunately, with the growing sophistication of cyber criminals’ capabilities, even the best-prepared organizations may be unable to stop a ransomware attack. The next best course of action after prevention is to have a game plan for if the worst-case scenario strikes. A key component of a cyber security game plan is cyber insurance. 

What Is Cyber Insurance?

With data breaches becoming increasingly common, new business solutions are emerging to combat the devastating effects of ransomware and other malware. One of the best tools available to companies is cyber insurance. The cyber insurance policies are tailored to each business, as needs will vary. 

Some of the items that cyber insurance covers include are:

  • Legal expenses and fees
  • Notifying consumers of the data breach
  • Recovering compromised data
  • Damaged computer system repair

Cyber insurance for West Virginia businesses serves as a sound foundation for any ransomware attack and becomes woven into the ethos of your local business. As we increasingly conduct our lives online, it’s important to provide adequate ransomware protection so that your West Virginia business can continue to flourish and impact this community. 

West Virginia Cyber Insurance

At United Security Agency, we are passionate about partnering with the best agents and providers, so you can rest assured knowing you’re in good hands. We offer custom-tailored cyber insurance policies for West Virginia residents so you can confidently scale your local business into the future. Call us for a quote at 304-842-3314.