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Clarksons confirms cyber breach

UK-based shipping services company Clarksons has emerged as the latest maritime business to be hit by a cyber-attack, with the company confirming that it had suffered a breach involving unauthorised access to its computer systems.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}Clarksons’ says that it took immediate steps to respond to and manage the incident as soon as it was discovered, with initial investigations suggesting that the unauthorised access was gained via a single isolated user account, which has now been disabled.

The company has notified the relevant regulatory bodies, and also notes that it has put in place additional security measures to try and prevent a similar incident happening in the future, as it works with data security specialists to investigate further.

“Clarksons would like to reassure clients and shareholders that this incident has not, and does not, affect its ability to do business,” the company said, in a statement.

“(The) person or persons behind the incident may release some data. As a responsible global business, Clarksons has been working with the police in relation to this incident. In addition, the data at issue is confidential and lawyers are on standby wherever needed to take all necessary steps to preserve the confidentiality in the information.”

Clarksons says it is now in the process of contacting potentially affected individuals directly, and will continue with a wider review of its cyber security that began earlier in 2017, which will now include an accelerated roll-out of additional IT security measures.

“Issues of cyber security are at the forefront of many business agendas in today’s digital and commercial landscape and, despite our extensive efforts, we have suffered this criminal attack,” added Andi Case, CEO of Clarksons.

“As you would rightly expect, we’re working closely with specialist police teams and data security experts to do all we can to best understand the incident and what we can do to protect our clients now and in the future. We hope that, in time, we can share the lessons learned with our clients to help stop them from becoming victims themselves.”

“In the meantime, I hope our clients understand that we would not be held to ransom by criminals, and I would like to sincerely apologise for any concern this incident may have understandably raised.”{/mprestriction}

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  • Changes to cybersecurity insurance

    In recent years there has been a marked increase in cyber-criminal activity. Put simply, as technology advances, so too do the skills of those seeking to exploit it. The growth of IoT provides ‘bad actors’ with more devices and connections to target, allowing them to become more sophisticated. These developments have contributed towards a huge uptake in cyber insurance in recent years. Now though, victims of ransomware attacks have begun to pay. Attacks and breaches now dominate the IT security news headlines. It stands to reason then that insurers must act, so here we look at changes to cybersecurity insurance in the wake of this rise in cyber-crime.

    Top Tip: Check your cybersecurity insurance policy today

    We would recommend a call to your broker, as the previous terms are almost certainly going to be different. Ask about new services too, and of course ensure that you have robust cybersecurity practices in place. This will be subject to higher levels of scrutiny moving forwards, and rightly so. 

    The cybersecurity insurance industry gathers momentum

    In line with the acceleration in cyber-crime, cyber insurance has experienced a fertile period. More policies than ever before have been issued, and the amounts of protection available have increased. In 2020, according to sources at Harvard Business Review, the first $1 billion cyber insurance programmes were launched. This is not difficult to imagine when you see the results of recent cybersecurity-related surveys. For example, the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2021 revealed a 50 per cent year-on-year increase in 2019 for cyber losses. It also revealed that businesses were devoting more resources to cybersecurity than ever. Further key findings are as follows:

    • 2020 saw more companies targeted by criminals than in the previous year
    • Of those suffering attacks in 2020, more than a quarter (28 per cent) were targeted over 5 times
    • The companies who took part revealed that they allocated 21 per cent of their IT budget to cybersecurity (this was up 63 per cent when compared to the previous year’s survey)
    • 59 per cent of businesses with 250+ employees felt more vulnerable to cyber-attacks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic

    Coronavirus has certainly had a huge impact on most, if not all sectors. Organisations the world over have lost vast sums of income, with many succumbing to their losses. It has subsequently made some view cyber insurance as a luxury. Yet there is another, far more critical issue to cybersecurity insurance that is ‘changing the playing field’.

    Ransomware and the cybersecurity insurance landscape

    Ransomware is perhaps the foremost cybersecurity threat. According to CRIBB Cyber Security’s Patrick Carolan, “it (ransomware) has achieved a lot of success in recent years. Ransoms were set at relatively low amounts and were largely ignored. Nowadays, I believe that the average is over $100,000. They are often paid now too, which means that insurance companies must adopt a more robust approach.”

    During the period of growth, many cyber insurers retained 60 per cent on every dollar paid in premiums. Security frameworks, policies and procedures of clients were often not thoroughly examined. Their level of cybersecurity awareness was largely overlooked. Carolan foresees a huge change in this:

    “A lot of the people in cybersecurity insurance are leaving that area of the industry. Some are point-blank refusing to insure for ransomware. The ones that remain are therefore charging a lot more and insuring for less. They are also asking for a much higher level of proof of strong cybersecurity controls before issuing any policies.”

    The future of cybersecurity insurance

    It is difficult to predict exactly what lies in store for those seeking cybersecurity insurance. However, it does seem likely that:

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    • Coverage will shrink
    • There will be fewer outs
    • There will be limited options
    • Stronger requirements will be enforced

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    There have been cases where insurance companies have stated they will not pay any ransoms. Subsequently, they have been the victims of attacks. It is clear then that the industry is in a vulnerable position right now.

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     This article has been republished with permission from CRIBB Cyber Security. Read the original article here.

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