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Financial Review forecasts an increase in cyber insurance in response to the burgeoning prevalence of data breaches in recent months. The calls for enhanced cyber security reflect companies’ growing concern over hackers who can, for a cost as little as several hundred dollars, hold private information ransom for millions of dollars.

According to the Symantec 2015 Internet Security Threat Report, ransomware attacks rocketed 113 per cent in 2014, correlating with the creation of 319 million new pieces of detrimental malware produced in 2014.

While some link the recent calls for cyber-security to the data leak of pie-faced Ashley Madison users, Financial Review reports that insurers actually received more cyber insurance inquiries corresponding to the hacks of major businesses such as Target and Adobe. These attacks, both of which occurred in 2013, allowed hackers to access the personal information and financial records of millions of customers.

AIG national cyber liability manager Emma Osgood attributes the relatively low prevalence and untapped potential of cyber insurance to the fact that businesses simply are not aware that their systems have been hacked. With the legislative implementation of mandatory data-breaching reports put in place in both the United States and Europe, Osgood predicts an immense jump in cyber insurance sales on the horizon.

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