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CyberCube report warns of attacks on public sector

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William Altman, CyberCube’s Cyber Threat Intelligence Principal (File photograph)

The insurance and reinsurance industry should brace itself for potential attacks on the public sector, targeting government and election infrastructure, a cyber-risk analytics company has warned in a new report.

CyberCube said government agencies and officials must increase their cybersecurity measures, enhance election integrity safeguards, and collaborate with cybersecurity experts to mitigate these threats.

Last September, government services in Bermuda were crippled by a cyberattack, with departments affected for months.

The Government has remained silent on whether it was a ransomware attack — and if any ransom was paid.

While Bermuda has still been told little about the cyberattack, the government in the Cayman Islands has confirmed its systems thwarted such an attack in February and that no intrusion occurred in the western Caribbean island.

The CyberCube platform was established in 2015 within Symantec and now operates as a standalone company, exclusively focused on the insurance industry, with access to what it said was an unparalleled ecosystem of data partners.

It is backed by Bermudian-based HSCM Bermuda, among other investors.

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 defences in the public sector is paramount in 2024 and beyond.”

The Global Threat Outlook, H1 2024 report also highlights eight sectors that 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 and entertainment, financials, services and healthcare, the latter of which 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 [insurers and reinsurers] as these sectors are less exposed to cyber threats relative to other industries, yet they still maintain a high level of security, CyberCube said.

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

It said [insurers and reinsurers] could model realistic cyber disasters considering state-nexus cyber activities using CyberCube’s Portfolio Manager.

Richard DeKorte, CyberCube’s cybersecurity 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.”

Richard DeKorte, CyberCube’s cybersecurity consultant (File photograph)

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Published April 18, 2024 at 6:00 pm (Updated April 18, 2024 at 8:48 pm)

CyberCube report warns of attacks on public sector

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