No organization – big or small – is free from the threat of cyberattack

Large companies also take on the risks of their vendors by proxy, warns expert

No organization – big or small – is free from the threat of cyberattack

Insurance News

By David Saric

According to a cyber threats index by insurer Coalition, a surprising 94% of organizations whose IP addresses were scanned in 2022 had at least one unencrypted service exposed to the internet. The company also predicted that for 2023, there would be more than 1,900 new cyber common vulnerabilities and exposures per month – a 13% increase from 2022 levels.

The company also warned that the number of security vulnerabilities and breaches are “consistently increasing,” from 1,000 in 2002 to over 23,000 in 2022.

To address the growing cybersecurity threat, Coalition last month announced an expansion of its cybersecurity offering for large US enterprise businesses with annual revenues of up to $5 billion.

Insurance Business approached Tiago Henriques (pictured), vice president of security research at Coalition, to find out more about this enhanced product, and why large organizations need coverage. The cyber expert was also asked whether or not ransomware will continue to be an issue for businesses in a post-pandemic world.

Coalition recently expanded its cybersecurity offering to enterprise businesses with revenues up to $5 billion. How vulnerable are large enterprise businesses in the US to cyberattacks?

It’s important to state that all businesses, regardless of size, are vulnerable to cyberattacks. Large companies like Equifax, T-Mobile, and JP Morgan have all experienced data breaches in the last decade alone. No matter how many resources a company has, it can still be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Large companies tend to have large attack surfaces. While many have internal resources and more sophisticated security posturing, they are still at high risk because of complex systems, broader network exposure, and more surface area to target. In many ways, saying, “the larger the business, the larger the threat” rings true.   

Apart from having a much larger attack surface for threat actors to exploit, what are the other challenges to cybersecurity that enterprise businesses must tackle?

Large businesses depend on complicated technology stacks with a wide network of vendors, making patching software harder. This dependence also means these larger companies not only take on their own risks but also the risks of those other companies by proxy. These partners pose their own set of cybersecurity concerns, making the problem exponential.  

In your opinion, will ransomware continue to be the biggest cyber boogeyman for businesses?

Ransomware is a serious concern, and paying a ransom is a scary thought for a business. Fortunately, our data shows a decrease in ransomware attack frequency and the amount of ransom demanded between the second half of 2021 and the first half of 2022. We also observed that average ransomware demands decreased from $1.37 million in H2 2021 to $896,000 in H1 2022. This decrease in frequency and severity is likely because organizations are increasingly aware of the threat ransomware poses. They have started implementing controls, such as offline data backups, that allow them to refuse to pay the ransom and restore operations through other means.

But as ransomware is on the decline, attackers are turning to other reliable methods. Phishing, for example, has skyrocketed – and only continues to grow. According to our claims data, phishing triggers most cyber incidents. In H1 2022, phishing accounted for 57.9% of reported claims.

How can the insurance industry keep up with increasingly complex cyberattacks?

The only way for insurance to keep up is to follow the numbers and data. Organizations need real-time monitoring and vulnerability management to inform insurance protections. They need to ensure they focus on mitigating according to their available resources. And they need to prioritize fixing the vulnerabilities that will inflict the most damage.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!