Ransomware attacks jump 50 percent, but accidental breaches a ‘major problem’

By Erin Ayers on August 3, 2017

Ransomware attacks rose during the first half of 2017, accounting for 32 percent of attacks and up 50 percent over the first half of 2016, but employee error and third-party risks were close behind at 30 percent, according to a recent Beazley Breach Response report.

During the first half of 2017, Beazley’s team handled 1,330 attacks for which hacking and malware events represented the dominant cause. However, the firm cited accidental breaches by employees and vendors as a “major problem.” In the hardest-hit sector, healthcare, accidental breaches accounted for 42 percent of events, well ahead of all other causes of loss.

Examples of errors include unintended disclosure of information, such as misdirected emails or faxes or personal information. Though dominant in the healthcare sector, higher education and financial services also experienced these types of events, accounting for at least a quarter of all events for each sector.

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Erin is an editor at Advisen. She has 15 years of journalism experience. Prior to Advisen, Erin covered property-casualty insurance for 13 years as editor-in-chief of The Standard, New England’s Insurance Weekly. Erin is based in Boston, Mass. Contact Erin at eayers@advisen.com.