General Insurance Article - Reinsurers should brace against public sector cyber attacks

The (re)insurance industry should brace itself for potential attacks on the public sector targeting government and election infrastructure, warns CyberCube, the market leader of cyber risk analytics for the insurance industry.

 In a new report, CyberCube warns government agencies and officials must increase their cybersecurity measures, enhance election integrity safeguards, and collaborate with cybersecurity experts to mitigate these threats.

 William Altman, CyberCube’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Principal, said: “With the US presidential elections, the public sector becomes an increasingly attractive target for malicious actors seeking to sow chaos and undermine faith in democracy. Moreover, around 64 countries plus the European Union will hold national elections this year, involving nearly half of the world’s population. In some cases, the same cyber threat actors attempting to meddle in the US presidential election will also be active in other countries. Given the potential for significant attacks, bolstering defenses in the public sector is paramount in 2024 and beyond.”

 The research “Global Threat Outlook, H1 2024” also highlights eight sectors which are under-secured and attractive targets, leaving companies vulnerable to criminal ransomware and extortion tactics, as well as catastrophe events. These are telecoms, IT, education, retail, arts & entertainment, financials, services and healthcare. Healthcare is the most exposed industry tracked by CyberCube.

 CyberCube notes sectors such as banking and aviation are still exposed and targeted but have better cybersecurity. Mining and agriculture remain opportunity sectors for cyber (re)insurers as these sectors are less exposed to cyber threats relative to other industries, yet they still maintain a high level of security.

 The report also includes an analysis of state-nexus cyber threat actors, including those in Russia, Iran, and China. 

 Richard DeKorte, CyberCube’s Cyber Security Consultant, said: “CyberCube foresees an escalation in the attacks perpetrated by state-nexus threat actors targeting critical infrastructure. Specifically, Iranian state-sponsored threat actors are likely to target critical infrastructure opportunistically. Russian and Chinese state actors are expected to strategically position themselves to disrupt infrastructure in sectors crucial to the national economy and security of the US and its allies.”

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