Your business's computer network enables your company to serve customers, meet payrolls, research markets and perform a bevy of necessary tasks. Your network may also be aiding organized crime. Thanks to a technique called cryptojacking, sophisticated criminals can illicitly leverage the computing power of law-abiding businesses. With cyber liability insurance and proactive cybersecurity measures in place, understanding cryptojacking is a wise next step.
What Is Cryptojacking?
Cryptojacking exploits fundamental cryptocurrency mechanics. Digital currencies rely on an immutable public ledger of transactions. When grouped into sequentially linked blocks, this ledger becomes a blockchain. As a mechanism to enforce honesty, groups wishing to add transactions to the blockchain must compete by solving a calculation-intensive math problem.
The first group to solve the math problem adds a block to the chain and earns a distribution of the linked digital currency. The process of winning the distribution has become known as mining. To succeed, law-abiding miners invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in computing power. Criminal miners hijack calculation resources from others, and this theft is cryptojacking.
Why Is Cryptojacking Lucrative?
Even with high capital investment, lawful digital currency mining can be immensely profitable if the mined currency is rising in value. The profit potential is even higher for cybercriminals who worm their way into computer networks to steal calculation resources. When cryptojackers first entered the scene, the supercomputers of government labs and large corporations were their targets.
Nowadays, these criminals prefer to target small or medium-sized businesses. The attack can involve installing mining malware on victims' computers or tricking computer users into visiting a website that runs mining code in their browsers. With thousands of infected computers, cryptojackers can build massive mining networks. Since the predators only steal relatively small amounts of processing time from individual computers, the victims are typically unaware they are aiding a criminal enterprise.
How Can Your Business Thwart Cryptojacking?
Because no cybersecurity effort is perfect, begin by updating the cyber liability coverage in your business insurance package. With that precaution in place, here are some prevention measures your business can take:
- Urge employees to report cryptojacking symptoms such as computer slowdowns or excessive fan noise.
- Install an anti-crypto mining extension on all browsers.
- Upgrade network firewalls with units that include content inspection capabilities.
- Implement endpoint management software to push anti-malware updates company-wide.
- Comb your company’s public-facing website for crypto mining code that could infect visitors’ computers.
Since its emergence, the popularity of cryptojacking has ebbed and flowed with the prices of digital currencies and advancements in cyber defenses. Still, the profit potential of digital currency mining means the threat is unlikely to disappear in the near term. As with all cybersecurity hazards, up-to-date cyber liability insurance coupled with company-wide vigilance is the way forward.
About Axis Insurance
At Axis Insurance Services, we aim to help our customers identify their exposures and protect themselves. Founded in 1999, we offer insurance programs to professionals and industries that include attorneys, real estate agencies, healthcare professionals, architects and more. We also have a wholesale division. We pride ourselves on offering flexible insurance coverage tailored specifically to each customer’s needs. To learn more about our solutions, contact us at (877) 787-5258 to speak with one of our professionals.
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