AXA, the French group that emerged from the merger of several insurance companies, the oldest of which dates back to 1817, has just made a surprising announcement. At the request of the government, AXA has announced that it will end reimbursements for victims who choose to pay for ransomware. As a reminder: AXA is one of the five largest insurers in Europe. This decision is made as ransomware attacks become a daily phenomenon.
It was last April when senators and cybersecurity officials within the government debated the issue. Everyone was concerned about the increase in payments to cyber criminals. Ransomware, or ransomware in French, is software that takes a company’s data or devices hostage and asks a certain amount of money to release it. It is highly recommended not to pay the requested amounts. In 2020 alone, French companies lost billions of euros to these attacks. Some even go so far as to estimate losses in excess of $ 5.5 billion.
France is one of the countries hardest hit by cyber attacks
France is the second country hardest hit by this type of cyberattack after the US and the phenomenon is only growing. The fact that companies can rely on insurance companies like AXA to reimburse their losses has only increased ransomware. Cyber security experts have been complaining about this process for several months.
With the health crisis related to the Covid-19 pandemic, malicious actors have attacked health facilities such as hospitals more severely. Ransomware has significantly slowed research for the vaccine against Covid-19 or even paralyzed entire facilities, as was the case in particular at the Paris hospitals in March 2020. Given the scale of this phenomenon, Emmanuel Macron presented his € 1 billion plan to improve the country’s cybersecurity last February.
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