Ransomware spike spurs cyber insurance boom in New Zealand

Report highlights increasing sophistication of threats

Ransomware spike spurs cyber insurance boom in New Zealand


By Roxanne Libatique

Arctic Wolf, a security operations firm, has released its annual State of Cybersecurity 2024 report, highlighting major global trends and regional variations in cybersecurity risks and measures.

Conducted by Sapio Research, the survey included over 1,000 senior IT and cybersecurity leaders from more than 15 countries, including Australia and New Zealand (A/NZ).

Rise in ransomware attacks rapidly accelerated cyber insurance adoption

The report showed that a global surge in ransomware incidents has hastened the uptake of cyber insurance as businesses aim to mitigate potential risks.

In A/NZ, data breaches have notably influenced cybersecurity priorities, with a significant number of respondents reporting breaches in the past year. In contrast to global trends, where data integrity preservation ranked third, it is the foremost concern for organisations in the A/NZ region.

Key factors driving cybersecurity strategies

Regarding cyber insurance trends in A/NZ, the survey found that the primary factors driving cybersecurity strategies are the costs or potential loss of policy status.

Unlike global trends, rising premiums are less of a deterrent in A/NZ, indicating a more proactive approach to maintaining active policies.

Most prevalent cyberattacks

Business email compromise attacks were identified as the most prevalent method, with nearly 70% of organisations targeted and 29% experiencing successful breaches. Additionally, 45% of respondents reported ransomware attacks within the past 12 months, with 86% of these incidents leading to successful data exfiltration.

Organisations becoming more transparent

The report also indicated that regulatory pressures are pushing organisations towards greater transparency following breaches. About two-thirds of breached organisations publicly disclosed the incidents, while 30% informed only the affected parties.

However, a report published recently identified gaps in cyber recovery efforts among Australian and New Zealand organisations, despite the rise of cyberattacks. It revealed a gap between business leaders’ recovery expectations and the actual recovery times experienced by IT professionals.

Cyber insurance demand rises

Cyber insurance demand continues to grow, with the majority of organisations either holding an active policy or planning to secure one within the year. Only 5% have chosen not to obtain cyber insurance, underscoring its role as a critical element of risk management strategies.

Impact of generative AI and large language models

Furthermore, the increasing use of generative AI and large language models (LLM) has led 94% of organisations to either implement or plan to establish adoption and usage policies within the year, reflecting awareness of the potential risks and regulatory challenges associated with these technologies.

“This year’s insights highlight the increasing sophistication of threat actors and the realities of cyber incidents for organisations around the world. Attackers are focusing on the human element, as evidenced by the overwhelming targeting via business email compromise. No matter the method of intrusion, the stakes are even higher for business leaders as most successful ransomware attacks involve data exfiltration,” said Ian McShane, vice president of managed detection and response at Arctic Wolf, as reported by IT Brief. “While we are encouraged by the increased adoption of cyber insurance and incident response readiness programs, it is clear that there is still work to be done to overcome perennial challenges for cybersecurity leaders, including increased financial and productivity losses due to ransomware.”

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