Advisen FPN

Advisen Cyber FPN - Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Ransom demands jump 170% in first-half 2021: Coalition


Ransom demands jump 170% in first-half 2021: Coalition

By Erin Ayers, Advisen

The average ransom demand rose 170% to $1.2 million during the first half of 2021, while cyberattacks on smaller companies and business email compromise claims showed sharp upticks, according to the latest claims data from Coalition.

“Cybercrime is increasing like never before,” Coalition said in its report, citing a 54% increase in attacks on smaller businesses (under 250 employees) and an over 51% rise in business email compromise (BEC) events in H1 2021 compared to H1 2020.

Cybercriminals continue to exploit “dislocations” in how companies operate with remote work and heavy reliance on email to communicate, the insurer said. Nearly half of attacks against Coalition policyholders began with phishing and social engineering.

Funds transfer fraud events (FTF) have also increased by 28%, with the average amount lost rising 179% to $326,264 in H1 2021. However, Coalition reported a 95% success rate in retrieving lost funds.

Despite the increases across most types of cybercrime, ransomware has “reshaped” the insurance industry with costs to remediate rising along with ransom demands.

“Bad actors are targeting everything from critical infrastructure to the corner store,” said Joshua Motta, CEO and co-founder of Coalition.

Coalition provided case studies for ransomware, FTF, and BEC claims in its report, as well as some predictions for the future. Ransomware is set to remain “the single biggest threat” for all organizations, according to the insurer, and the cyber insurance market will keep hardening with the bar for coverage rising higher.

Most attacks also remain “easily avoidable,” Coalition added in the report. Phishing, open remote network access points, unpatched software vulnerabilities, and weak credentials cause the majority of incidents and can be addressed with basic security controls.

Comparing last year’s data to this year’s, the insurer said, “There was one constant: organizations continue to be targeted by criminals because they have made poor technological choices, often exposed to the public internet, that make them targets.”

Editor Erin Ayers can be reached at

Philadelphia Insurance