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Case Study – Beware The Silent Predator


  • A member of staff inadvertently clicked on a pop-up advert on their social media page during their lunch break
  • Ransomware activated and the system for 250 employees at multiple sites immediately disabled
  • Reported to Cyber Insurers via Cox Mahon
  • Within 49 minutes, independent specialists in direct discussion with client
  • 24 hours later, fully operational (with exception of one user), backups utilised and system secured


Our client is a successful forward-thinking firm of solicitors, with multiple offices, always open to new ideas and progressing their practice. A business that felt secure. Having purchased Cyber Insurance via Cox Mahon, which included a 24/7 helpline, the company had the reassurance that optimal cover was in place.

Incident and response

It began at the start of the working week when the client attempted to open certain PDF files but they were encrypted and inaccessible. The system had been compromised and was being held to ransom.

Notification was made via the Cox Mahon 24 hour phone number to the Cyber Insurance helpline and a response was received within the one hour timeline.

KPMG were appointed to assist the client in determining the problem, isolating it and restoring the system. It was subsequently found that the IT system was infected by a Ransomware virus.

Later investigations revealed that an employee of the Insured was directed to a malicious website and a virus from the website infected their particular drive.

Luckily, the impact of the incident was reduced by the regular backups performed on their systems, the configuration of antivirus to limit the number of file types which were affected, and the decision by the insured to swiftly quarantine the network.


Updates to and by Cox Mahon ensured the matter was dealt with as expeditiously as possible. The system was restored and, with the exception of the user where the virus had originated, normal working was resumed. This was within the 48 hour period ensuring that no policy excess was incurred.

The client was extremely happy with how this unfortunate incident had been handled. Prompt and immediate help was facilitated by Cox Mahon, who managed and ensured that the cover and service provided by insurers negated and ultimately resolved a potentially catastrophic cyber breach.