European and Asian businesses lack the cyber insurance to protect against ransomware

The ransomware worm that took the world by storm over the weekend, WannaCry, has brought to light the fact that many companies outside of the United States may not be properly insured to deal with the financial damage caused by the attack. 

The virus infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries, locking the contents of their drives unless a ransom of $300 or $600 was paid in Bitcoin.  Although the spread of WannaCry has slowed, more computers could be affected as a new working week begins. 

Recovering from the virus could cost businesses billions of dollars as they try to become operational once more.  Companies located in Europe and Asia are thought to be particularly vulnerable to the ransomware as they do not have the same safeguards in place as US businesses and many of which are running older versions of Microsoft's Windows operating system. 

Generally companies pay a large fee throughout the year for cybersecurity insurance which covers these kinds of attacks and the loss of business they can incur.  However, companies that failed to download a patch issued by Microsoft in March may have trouble filing a claim with their insurance company.  Also those who used any form of pirated software will find it quite difficult to receive an insurance payout. 

Typically, cyber insurance policies cover breaches of up to $50 million with a large part of that sum being dedicated to business lost as a result of the breach.  Larger organisations though may have policies that can cover damages as high as $500 - $600 million. 

The WannaCry ransomware is just another reminder of the key role that cybersecurity plays in a modern business landscape.  As cyberattacks such as this continue to occur, companies will likely double down in their efforts to remain vigilant to new and more complicated threats. 

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