What Are the True Costs of a Cyber Attack?
How would an incident of Ransomware affect your business operations? Consider a small electrical contracting firm who installs and maintains electrical systems with private and commercial clients. Imagine one of the company’s employees received an email from a “potential job applicant” who attached their resume for consideration. The employee clicked on the resume and the attachment encrypted all of the business’ computer programs demanding a $5,000 ransom payment to decrypt the data.
Typically, the ransom payment can be avoided, and the insured can regenerate their files from a back-up. Unfortunately, this insured had not externally backed-up their data for a few years so almost all of their day to day information was still encrypted leaving the insured with no option but to pay the ransom which was then reimbursed. It took four days from the reporting of the incident until the business regained full access to their computer systems after the ransomware was paid.
However, this is not where the claim ends. After their systems were decrypted, it turns out the ransomware attack unintentionally resulted in very serious issues with the performance of their programs. For example, tables were missing, documents were incorrectly formatted, many records were corrupted or duplicated. Also, their programs had become extremely slow, going from generating a report in a minute to up to an hour.
Despite numerous attempts to restore the program’s functionality, it was still not operating effectively resulting in numerous problems such as lack of accuracy in financial reporting and a large dip in overall productivity. Thankfully the insured maintained paper records for their data so the decision was made to upload the data contained on the paper files onto a new program. This required employees to work overtime for around 1,500 hours, manually inputting data and required the hiring of temporary employees to help with the data entry.
Cost by section:
Forensic/Data re-entry- $59,000
Ransomware (including forensics costs)- $22,000
Total Cost- About $81,000