Small Businesses Frequent Targets of Cyberattacks

Ransomware demands and claims for all cyber incidents fell in the first half of this year, but small businesses have increasingly become targets, managing general agent Coalition Inc. said Wednesday in an update to its 2022 Cyber Claims Report.

In an analysis of claims data from its 160,000 policyholders, San Francisco-based Coalition said ransomware demands fell to $896,000 in the first half of the year from $1.37 million during the first six months of 2021. Of those that resulted in payments, the amount was negotiated to about 20% of the demand.

Phishing accounted for 57.9% of cyber claims, according to the report.

Overall, cyber claim severity declined by 8% in the first half to an average loss of $175,258 and claims frequency decreased by 7%, according to the report.

The news was not as good for small-business owners, Coalition said. The average cost of their claims rose to $139,000 in the first half, a 58% increase over the year-earlier period.

“Across industries, we continue to see high-profile attacks targeting organizations with weak or exposed infrastructure, which has become exacerbated by today’s remote working culture and companies’ dependence on third-party vendors,” said Catherine Lyle, Coalition’s head of claims, in a statement.

Nonprofits remain a big target for cybercriminals, the report found, with a 57% increase in claims for those policyholders in the first half of the year.