Insurance giant Aon confirms it has suffered 'cyber incident'

Oh the irony! Insurance companies, even those selling cyber insurance, are attack targets


Aon, the British-American provider of insurance and pension administration, has brought in external specialists to help probe a "cyber incident".

In addition to broader risk insurance options, Aon sells cyber insurance policies and related solutions to customers, including Cyber Risk Financing, Cyber Impact Analysis, Security Testing, Incident Response Retainers, and Stroz Friedberg Digital Forensics.

"We sit at the intersection of risk and coverage to help protect your organisation because cyber insurance is no longer just about a data breach," says the marketing blurb.

The London-based business said in a statement to investors that it first spotted the issue just before the weekend on 25 February, identifying that it was "impacting a limited number of systems."

"Promptly upon our identification of the incident, we launched an investigation, and engaged the services of third-party advisors, incident response professionals and counsel," Aon added.

"The incident has not had a significant impact on our operations. We remain focused on out clients, and our ability to serve them has not been impacted by this event," the world's second-largest insurance brokerage said.

The incident does not bear the hallmarks of a ransomware assault that locks down company data.

Scant details about the attack are available but it is a "warning sign to every insurance company that they are a popular target to threat actors," said Sam Linford, EMEA veep for channel and MSSP at Deep Instinct.

"The valuable data held by insurance companies is an attractive target for cybercriminals."

Insurers including Aon also have a database filled with details about past ransomware efforts that will list the name of victims, attack vector, and so on.

Paris-based insurer Axa was previously in the sights of miscreants, as was CNA Financial, a US insurance conglomerate that coughed $40m to ransomware fiends.

The cost of cyber insurance went up by 32 per cent in the year to June 2021, according to figures provided by global insurance brokerage Howden. It found that the cost of policies were soaring but so too were the strings attached.

Aon refused to comment further at this stage. ®

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