News & Events

News & Events


Ransomware Attacks are on the Rise: Here’s How to Protect Your Organization

March 14, 2024
Email Phishing Ransomware Malware Hacker Attack.

Change Healthcare’s ransomware attack ranks among the most disruptive health care cyber incidents in years, and the impact is far from over.

In the unfolding story, it was widely reported that Change Healthcare, which is owned by United Healthcare and processes medical payments across the country, paid a ransom of $22 million. Still, this ongoing attack is costing health care providers an estimated $100 million a day, according to CBS News.

While this major event is capturing headlines due to its size, this kind of attack is not an isolated incident and it spreads beyond the health care industry. It is important for all companies to learn from this incident and act on their cyber policies.

According to Coalition, a leading cyber insurance provider, ransomware claims frequency increased by 27% in the first half of 2023 compared to the previous half. Additionally, ransom demands increased alongside more frequent attacks.

The average ransom demand in the first half of 2023 was $1.62 million, which marks a 47% increase over the previous six months and a 74% increase over the past year.

When reading about a large organization and such an outrageous ransom, it may be hard to see its personal impact. To help understand the trickle-down impact of situations like these, the American Medical Association voiced its concern for small doctors, especially in rural areas. Those clinics haven’t been paid for weeks because they can’t submit claims for reimbursement and don’t have huge cash reserves.

This is just one of the many effects of this situation, and one other business owners might be able to relate to. There are extensive repercussions that can leave organizations in chaos. Imagine the impact a cyberattack could have on your network of partners and employees.

It is impossible not to internalize the news, contemplating “What if this was my business?” As risk advisors, this is exactly what we do for our clients. Our goal is to proactively manage risk using data, history and close analysis. Every ransomware payment funds future attacks and suggests to other predators that they should use the same playbook.

4 steps your organization can do immediately:

  1. Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on all accounts.
  2. Maintain credible offline backups of critical business data.
  3. Establish a formal procedure for electronic payments.
  4. Discuss and train employees regularly about phishing and security, keeping it top of mind.

The Change Healthcare incident highlights the need for dependent business interruption under a cyber policy because a cyber incident on a third party’s network can negatively impact your ability to do business. There are nuances to the language, so it’s important to discuss your cyber policy language with your broker to ensure you have the right cyber coverage.

To learn more, contact:

Austin Bennett
Property & Casualty Risk Advisor