Hackers often target companies with large amounts of personal and financial data, and it is no secret that insurers are the holders of both for their entire bank of clients. Many insurance agencies are more familiar with the risk level and impact of a cyberattack, as they broker cyber-liability insurance to their clients, but unfortunately their expertise doesn’t lie in preventing these types of attacks.
Specifically, Ransomware hackers have continuously upped their game and now steal information from an infected party before encrypting their data, so even insurance firms with proper backup and disaster recovery systems are now forced to deal with hackers to prevent exposure of their classified data.
The 2021 Verizon Data Breach Report indicates that Email was the top malware delivery method at a staggering 95%.
This attack vector normally comes with either a Microsoft Office document or a Windows Application as an attachment and will typically install backdoor command and control software that allows hackers to snoop around and deploy ransomware once they are ready.
As if the cost of downtime was not bad enough, it’s the incalculable costs, such as damage to your firm’s reputation, loss of sensitive and important policy-holder data, and loss of clients could prove to be more disastrous for firms after this kind of event.
Insurers can mitigate risk of a data breach by enacting a few common-sense measures. To protect your firm’s data and your policyholders, you should assure the following are in place:
- Educate your staff on cybersecurity best practices and how to identify a high-risk email
- Perform regular software updates in a timely fashion
- Back up your data on a regular basis and test your back up systems
- Conduct a risk assessment by testing your staff and system vulnerabilities
- Invest in Cyber Liability Insurance for your firm
- Don’t assume your data is safe just because it’s “in the cloud”
- Utilize two-factor authentication and password complexity requirements
- Create a plan of action to implement in the case that a data breach does take place
- Form a partnership with an IT firm who will handle all aspects of safeguarding your Insurance Agency
For more information on IT for Insurance Agencies, click here.
To learn more about how Technology Associates can help protect your agency, contact us today.