Cyberattacks fueling companies to find protection

WASHINGTON — Recent cyberattacks are fueling a surge in cyber-insurance as companies scramble to get protected.

A recent government watchdog group looked into the issue of cyberattacks, and found the price for insurance went up from 10% to 30% late last year. Industry experts said it’s only going to get higher with claims of ransomware up by 300% or more in the last year.

“It’s changing rapidly. It’s very difficult to predict,” said Christopher Keegan. His company sells cyber insurance.

A research group that analyzes attacks found that payments by victims or companies increased 336% last year from 2019, reaching $370 million in cryptocurrency. At a recent congressional hearing, the CEO of Colonial Pipeline defended the company’s decision to pay the nearly $5 million ransom.

“I believe that with all my heart, it was the right choice to make. I know how critical our pipeline is for the country and I put the interest of the country first,” said CEO Joseph Blount.

Insurance companies said the claims and premiums will eventually start to come down in price, but it could take months or even years.