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Protect Your Shop’s Computer from Being Held for Ransom

Being held for ransom seems like something that only happens in the movies. But computers at collision repair shops frequently get held for ransom in what’s called a ransomware attack.

“This is happening to other industries, but it’s becoming more frequent in our industry,” said David Willett, general manager of an automotive aftermarket at Intrepid Direct. “The number of automotive repairers with cyber risk coverage in their garage insurance package is growing, but still represents a small percentage.”

Don’t Get Held for Ransom

So what can you do to avoid ransomware and other cybersecurity attacks? And how can you make sure your insurance covers you? David Willett recently sat down with Autobody News on this exact topic.

Ransomware attacks occur when someone seizes control of an organization’s computer system or digital information, agreeing to release it only after a ransom has been paid. Since ransomware is typically spread through phishing emails or by visiting an infected website, shop owners can be especially cautious when opening attachments or links of suspicious emails. Keeping antivirus software up to date should also block the majority of these threats.

How to Respond to a Computer Kidnapper

If a hacker does infiltrate your system, most experts do not recommend paying the ransom, since there’s no guarantee they’ll return the files or haven’t already copied the files. If paying the ransom is the only choice, be familiar with your insurance policy to know if cyberattacks are covered.

“The normal ransomware provision pays for rebuilding the system and database, which can take 30 days or more,” said Willett. “Other providers usually don’t reimburse or pay the actual ransom request – usually bitcoin – which offers an immediate fix. Intrepid’s provision pays for the ransom request because it was designed for what’s actually happening in the industry, and we plan to continue strengthening it for our customers’ protection.”

Insurance to the Rescue

Intrepid Direct Insurance offers cyber risk coverage to all collision shops as part of our suite of comprehensive coverage.

If you’re a current customer, check your policy to make sure you opted in for cyber risk coverage. If you didn’t, contact your customer success manager to add the coverage to your current policy.

Not a customer? Start your quote today online or over the phone. Intrepid automatically offers cyber risk coverage – along with nine other industry-leading coverages – as part of our comprehensive coverage.

Bill Strout

Bill Strout

Bill has been in the property casualty business for over 20 years. Diverse insurance experience and leadership from underwriting, sales, and wholesale insurance. Bill’s father was an owner of an agency in Chicago, so he grew up in the business. Outside of work, Bill enjoys time with his 3 kids and wife traveling.