Cybercrime and Digital Nomads: The IT Topics of 2022
2022 was a challenging year in many ways: Cybersecurity was at the forefront because of the war in Ukraine and expected hacker attacks, but the Covid-19 pandemic also continued to be an issue. The trend towards working and living as a digital nomad was also influenced by the restrictions of the first two years of the pandemic. In this article, we shed light again on the most interesting and important topics of the year.
Cybercrime at Record High
According to the report on IT security published by the German Federal Office for Information Security (BSI) in October 2022, the situation with regard to cybersecurity has become even more critical. The greatest threat to companies and organisations, as well as governments and administrations, is ransomware. It’s not only large corporations, but also small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that have long been the target of attacks, as have universities, communities and organisations. Read the following article to find out what precautions SMEs should take when it comes to cybersecurity and how you can prepare your business for emergencies: Cyber Security for SMEs.
The fact that even IT experts aren’t immune to cybercrime is demonstrated well by a damage event in which an IT service provider didn’t adequately secure his customer’s email and backup servers. Unfortunately for him, the company was the victim of a phishing attack – a careless intern had opened an email attachment which was used to smuggle a Trojan into the server. By the time anyone noticed, the damage had already been done and a large part of the data, including backup and file storage, had been overwritten. Here’s a summary of how it turned out: Ransomware: A Damage Event Involving a Virus and Inadequate Protection
Phishing attacks have long been more than poorly written, suspicious-looking emails or dubious phone calls. Using AI, cybercriminals can now even imitate voices in a deceptively real way. This article explains why social engineering is so dangerous and how you can protect your business: When People Become a Risk:
Cybercrime as a Business Risk
A successful cyber attack can cause enormous damage to your business and, in the worst case, paralyse your entire company. This kind of business interruption hit the German tractor manufacturer Fendt in May 2022. After a ransomware attack on the American parent company AGCO, production was also stopped for several days at the Fendt headquarters in Marktoberdorf (Germany). It’s also particularly bitter when this kind of attack affects not only your own business, but also that of your customers. In this article we sum up which risks you should be aware of and what kinds of damage events we have already seen at exali: IT Risks: Lessons Learned and Precautions For Your Business.
CEO Fraud and a Lost Key: The Most Spectacular IT Damage Events in 2022
“Hi, it’s me, the CEO – can you please transfer 100,000 euros to me”, cybercriminals are no longer this clumsy, as the following damage event shows: The employee of a software startup insured through exali fell for the CEO fraud in this case. He received an email in which his boss asked him to buy voucher cards from the Google Play Store – worth 1,500 euros! The employee did as he was told and sent the codes for 15 cards, each worth 100 euros, to the supposed company founder. By the time the fraud was discovered, it was already too late and the 1,500 euros were gone. Find out here how the real CEO reacted to the lost money and how you can make your employees aware of the scam: The Fake President Trick: When Scammers Pretend to Be the CEO.
Unwanted Letters and 14,000 Euros Damage
In another damage event, an IT service provider insured through exali caused expensive damages due to a small error: For example, he was asked to create a script for a company's customer database in order to send 50 letters by e-post. Unfortunately, a number error crept into the script, which ensured that a total of 17,000 letters were sent instead of 50. Read about how the case ended here: Mixed-Up Numbers: IT Expert Causes Damage Amounting to 14,000 Euros.
Update Glitch Causes 90,000 Euros in Damages
Another relatively small error also became the undoing of another IT service provider: He carried out an extensive update for the website of his long-standing customer, a bus travel company – but in the days following the update, there were suddenly no customer inquiries. As it turned out, the IT service provider had taken all stored contact forms offline during the update. The company lost around 90,000 euros in sales, which it claimed back from the IT service provider. We sum up the outcome of this damage event in the following article: Website Update Error – 90,000 Euros in Revenue Lost.
Pub Crawl with Consequences
A somewhat amusing case is one involving an IT service provider, whose extended pub crawl led to some expensive consequences: A company had entrusted him with the maintenance of IT equipment, but since it was supposed to take place outside of office hours, his clients gave him the keys to the company building. After finishing the work, the IT expert set off on a pub crawl with the key in his pocket to get in the mood for his upcoming holiday. Unfortunately, during the course of the evening, he lost his jacket and key. Find out how the company reacted to this mistake in our article: Lost Customer Key.
Digital Nomads on the Rise
Work freely and independently – anywhere in the world. More and more people are finding the lifestyle and work style of digital nomads attractive. Instead of spending time in dreary Germany, they can enjoy their summer in Portugal or even work from a different location every three months while exploring the world – this is something that has inspired a lot of freelancers, especially after the restrictions of the corona pandemic. Nick Oestreich from Uplink, a network for IT freelancers, is one person who is enthusiastic about this lifestyle. In an interview he spoke to us about life as a digital nomad:
By the way: Even people who decide to live as a digital nomad can insure their business. If you have your official place of business in one of the 19 countries in which exali offers Professional Indemnity Insurance for freelancers, the self-employed and companies, you can easily insure yourself and travel the world.
In an interview, exali founder Ralph Günther explains how the European expansion came about and what advantages Professional Indemnity Insurance has for freelancers, the self-employed and companies:
Well Prepared for 2023 - with Professional Indemnity Through exali
No matter what: With Professional Indemnity Insurance from exali, your business as a freelancer or self-employed person in the IT sector is well insured: Including for expensive claims for damages resulting from programming errors, an incorrectly uploaded update, a mixed-up number or other reasons, as well as legal warnings and violations of the law.
exali also offers a solution to respond to the increasing risk of cybercrime with its supplemental add-on: First-Party Cyber and Data Risks Insurance (FPC): You can add this to your Professional Indemnity Insurance so you’re protected against hacker damage to your own IT systems or ransomware attacks. If a damage event occurs, the insurer assumes the costs or additional expenses to avoid or shorten a business interruption, as well as for additional PR and crisis management, specialised lawyers and computer forensic specialists.
Do you have questions about our insurance solutions? Then feel free to contact our experts in customer service and get comprehensive advice (also between Christmas and New Year, of course). You can always reach our customer advisors from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (CET) on +49 (0) 821 80 99 46-0.
Daniela has been working in the areas of (online) editing, social media and online marketing since 2008. At exali, she is particularly concerned with the following topics: Risks through digital platforms and social media, cyber dangers for freelancers and IT risk coverage.
In addition to her work as an online editor at exali, she works as a freelance editor and therefore knows the challenges of self-employment from her own experience.