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Businesses face growing data extortion threats

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Data extortion is on the rise in Australia and globally, according to cyber specialist CFC Underwriting.

Ransomware perpetrators are using the tactic to demand payments from businesses, threatening to make public stolen information that may contain confidential details of clients.

“Virtually non-existent [last year], attacks where data is downloaded from victims and threatened to be released publicly have become the prevalent tactic being leveraged by most of the common ransomware variants,” Cyber Claims Director Roger Francis told

CFC estimates cyber victims in Australia this year were hit with an average ransom demand of $130,902.

He says cyber insurers are responding to the evolving threat by bringing their incident response capabilities in-house to expedite client recovery.

“Modern cyber insurance policies are increasingly more about offering a proactive service to help prevent incidents than after-the-event cover,” Mr Francis said.

“They’re also using advances in technology to enhance their risk analysis processes as well as identify claims patterns, using this intelligence to inform businesses about rising threats and provide advice on security measures they can put in place.”