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Ransomware attacks against Beazley clients up 25%

By Judy Greenwald

Ransomware attacks against Beazley PLC clients increased 25% between last year’s fourth quarter and this year’s first quarter overall, with the manufacturing sector reporting a 156% increase, says a report issued Tuesday.

The report says the growing number of attacks against vendors and managed service providers have contributed significantly to the increase. “When a vendor experiences a ransomware incident, many of their customers, often within the same industry, may experience downstream impacts,” says the report, The Enduring Threat of Ransomware.

“What is clear in Q2 is that cybercriminals have seized on the opportunities presented by the pandemic and we are likely to see more employees falling victim as attacks accelerate,” with cybercriminals taking advantage of many employees working from home “without the technical protections that their corporate networks often provide.”

The report also found that business email compromise incidents decreased 16% from the previous quarter, “although it remains a problem across all industries.”

It said decreases reported in the financial services, health care and retail sectors “may prove to be a temporary reprieve tied to behavioral changes amid the response to COVID-19.”

Among the report’s recommendations are that organizations use a virtual private network, require multifactor authentication, lock down remote desktop protocols, secure personal devices, log and monitor access, patch systems and conduct security awareness training.

Beazley reported in March that ransomware attack notifications increased 131% in 2019.

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