New Ransomware Strains Being Unleashed on Businesses During Pandemic

September 11, 2020

Ransomware attacks grew by nearly 50 percent in the 2020 second quarter compared to the first three months of the year, underscoring the risks created by pandemic-related work-from-home requirements, a new Coalition report has determined.

On top of that trend, new strains of ransomware attacks are causing particularly malicious damage, according to cyber insurance and security provider Coalition, which compiled the data based on incidents reported by 25,00 small and midsize business clients in the U.S. and Canada.

“We’re in a heightened state of cyber vulnerability: human errors are more likely to be made remotely, new technology is being deployed on a daily basis to support remote work setups, and cybercriminals are taking advantage,” Joshua Motta, CEO and co-founder of Coalition, said in prepared remarks.

Coalition said that newer strains of ransomware, including DoppelPaymer and Maze, are particularly malicious. These strains are more complex, allowing them to demand higher ransoms, according to the company. For example, the average ransom demand for Maze ransomware is 6 times the overall average demand.

Here are other Coalition findings:

  • The average ransom demand amongst its policyholders grew 100 percent from 2019 through the 2010 first quarter, and another 47 percent from Q1 2020 to Q2 2020.
  • Since the start of the pandemic, Coalition said its policyholders reported a 35 percent jump in funds transfer fraud and social engineering claims filed by its policyholders.
  • Email attacks jumped 67 percent during the pandemic, again affecting Coalition policyholders.
  • Ransomware, funds transfer loss and business email compromise were the most frequent types of loss, amounting to 87 percent of reported incidents and 84 percent of claims payout for the 2020 first half.
  • Larger organizations in Coalition’s sample, with revenues of $100 million to $250 million, were five times as likely to experience claims as small organizations, with revenues under $10 million. At the same time, loss severity often hit six figures, regardless of company size.

Coalition cyber business is backed by Swiss Re Corporate Solutions, Lloyd’s of London and Argo Group.

Source: Coalition

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