In today’s society, criminal activity is being found everywhere and growing more and more through the interwebs. The existence of ransomware is on the move with more instances being reported than ever before.


So what is Ransomware? According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), ransomware is a form of malicious software that infiltrates computer systems or networks and uses tools like encryption to deny access or hold data “hostage” until the victim pays a ransom. After the initial “infection” the ransomware attempts to spread to other shared storage devices and systems. If the “demands” are not met, the encrypted data and systems will not be available and could possibly be deleted.


Typically, ransomware often arrives via an email or lately more so from a website that has been compromised. Just the act loading the site causes the ransomware to automatically download onto the user’s computer. These attacks can occur even on trusted websites, where a third party’s ad could redirect the user to an infected server. These criminal acts are becoming such an occurrence now that the FBI has developed their own separate sector for this.


If you find you are infected, the FBI recommends that organizations do the following (full details can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/ransomware-prevention-and-response-for-cisos.pdf/view):

  • Isolate the infected computer immediately
  • Immediate secure back data or systems by taking them offline
  • Change all online account passwords
  • Contact law enforcement and file a complaint with the FBE Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) https://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx


Recovering from such a breach can be detrimental to any business, and luckily there are insurance coverages out there to not only help absorb some of the financial burdens caused by this act, but also some guidance in how to set up a prevention and recovery plan for your business. Contact us here at Henry M. Murray Agency Inc. to discuss the Cyber Liability options available to you.


Cynthia D. Hoffman, CIC

Posted in: business insurance annapolis, cyber liability, Technology

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