Ransomware is a technique of using a computer virus to hold data hostage. Typically computers are infected with ransomware by tricking someone into clicking on a link. When the computer is infected the ransomware encrypts the computer’s hard drive, locking people out of computer files, including critical business information.

A screen will appear threatening to destroy the files unless a ransom is paid.

Attacks against consumers are still the most common, but attacks against businesses are accelerating as more criminals develope targeted campaigns and set their sights on large paydays.

In Q3, 2017, businesses were hit with ransomware every 40 seconds. According to researchers from Malwarebytes, roughly 60% of malware was ransomware.

Ransomware coverage can include business interruption, as well as the costs associated with removing infections from machines (which can be substantial) and recovering data that the ransomware makes inaccessible. Other costs associated with ransomware may also be covered.

The average ransomware claim is in the neighborhood of $15,000-$65,000. Of that, the majority is to cover the cost of specialized help to disinfect IT systems rather than pay ransoms.