Despite Rising Concern, Americans Leave Themselves Vulnerable to Cyberattacks

Staff Report

Tuesday, September 27th, 2022

Cyberattacks are grabbing headlines every day so it's no wonder many Americans fear they could be the next cyber victim. The latest Agency Forward cyber security survey from Nationwide reveals that consumer concerns about a cyberattack are on the rise, especially as more people rely on technology and data for everyday tasks like grocery shopping or paying bills.

The worry

58% of those surveyed admit they are concerned about falling victim to a cyberattack – up nine points since June 2020. Consumers said increased frequency (61%) and sophistication of attacks (51%) in recent years are causes for concern.

One in five consumers report having been victim of cybercrimes, with the most common attacks being password attacks (38%), data breaches (31%), malware (30%) and phishing (30%).

"The survey data is startling," said Beth Riczko, Nationwide's President of Property and Casualty Personal Lines. "Since cyberattacks are now commonplace, it reinforces the need for consumers to make protecting their personal cyber footprint with insurance and mitigation a priority – just like they would with their home or car."

Cyber insurance can help – but only if consumers buy it

The Agency Forward data showed that 86% of consumers believe cyber insurance would take care of recovery needs after an attack. However, 69% of consumers do not have cyber insurance to protect their digital assets. Why? People either have a lack of knowledge about cyber coverage (46%) or didn't know it was available to them (43%). And while nearly one in four (26%) have turned down the coverage because they think it's too costly, the truth is - cyber protection is quite affordable.

"Consumers can protect their digital identity each month for a lot less than they think," says Riczko. "Nationwide customers can add identity theft coverage with cyber protection features to their policy for about $4 a month. This monitors their personal data amid growing risks and cybercrimes."

Are you prepared? Many aren't!

Many Americans admit they're not ready to deal with the effects of a cyberattack. Only 31% of consumers feel prepared to deal with the aftermath of a cyberattack, and 68% haven't given much thought to what they'd do if they were attacked. Of those who have already fallen prey to hackers, more than half (53%) admitted they didn't know what to do or where to start with recovery.

Additionally, 6 in 10 say the cyberattack they experienced impacted their finances.

"According to the Triple I, for those without cyber protection, recovery from a cyber issue can take anywhere from weeks to years and cost thousands of dollars," said Riczko. "With insurance, that timeline and cost shrink dramatically."

Insurance agents can help!

Insurance agents can be a great resource to helping consumers protect their digital footprint, especially their identity. They can also provide details about Nationwide's ID Theft endorsement, available for auto, homeowners, renters and condo customers. It includes many cybersecurity protection features, including Anti-Ransomware, DataScramble®, and Phishblock®, personal cyber protection advice and guidance, data recovery and device clean-up assistance, and home internet security restoration.

"Consumers should work with their agent to identify vulnerabilities. With this information an agent can provide resources to help shore up weak spots and recommend a product that will help in the event of an attack, like Nationwide's identity theft endorsement with cyber protection features," said Riczko.