Cybersecurity Tips for Insurance Companies

Cybersecurity is critical need for new age digital businesses.

Through security strategies and intelligent systems, insurance companies can prevent themselves from becoming the next cyber attack victim. These incidents have risen in the past year, endangering insurance companies and their customers as a consequence. During the first quarter of 2020, ransomware attacks increased by 47% as compared to the previous year. Numerous insurance companies have also experienced funds-transfer loss and compromised business emails. However, businesses can minimize their vulnerability against these cyber attacks by following these cybersecurity tips.

Train Your Employees on Security Practices

Your employees are your first line of defense, which is why they have to be properly educated regarding cybersecurity. Train all of your employees so that you can establish a culture that revolves around protecting and securing confidential company data.

You can start by creating a straightforward list of cybersecurity policies and plans that your employees can easily refer to as they’re fulfilling their daily duties. Security awareness training sessions must also be regularly held so that your team can be conscious of malicious strategies that cyber attackers utilize, such as the malspam campaigns that Maze used against Chubb, a cybersecurity insurance provider. This case is one of the many instances when cyber attackers impersonate government agencies or even high-ranking company officials to lure employees into leaking information.

Build a Cybersecurity Team

Your company would not be complete without a cybersecurity team, who would be responsible for monitoring and protecting your company’s management systems, devices, networks, and data. Numerous companies became vulnerable to cybercrime over the past year because of the low supply of skilled cybersecurity professionals.

In this digital age, however, it’s important to hire consultants or employees who have educational backgrounds or a lot of experience in cybersecurity. Online degrees are just as—if not more—valuable than traditional degrees when it comes to cybersecurity because of the digital environment graduates are trained in. Maryville University’s online cybersecurity program trains the students in a Virtual Lab where they get hands-on experience with solving cybersecurity issues. This virtual training ground is where future cybersecurity professionals hone their ‘technical, hacking, and analytical cybersecurity skills’ that are applicable to real-life situations. So before building your cybersecurity team, ensure that the members have undergone cybersecurity programs, training sessions, or have practical experience that would make them qualified in protecting your insurance company. Safeguard your company and your clients by investing in professionals who know how to prevent and respond to cyber attacks.

Make a Security Plan

Minimize your company’s risk against cyberattacks by planning and enforcing strategies with your cybersecurity team. Through their expertise, you can identify your systems’ weaknesses and explore various approaches to protect them.

Before making a plan, your employees must identify all the vulnerable information and systems in your insurance companies’ networks and devices. Afterwards, you must utilize multi-layered security systems to shield your company’s IT infrastructure from threats. Most importantly, your employees must be able to create a detailed plan on how they can mitigate security breaches and recover sensitive information.

Invest in Detection and Prevention Systems

A lot of people invest in insurance companies for protection against life’s uncertainties. The future of people’s lives is dependent on insurance policies, which is why most consumers also look for companies that enforce cybersecurity measures.

At present, insurance companies make use of intelligent digital tools that can lessen fraud identification and risk delinquencies to protect their client’s data. Similarly, you can invest in software programs, such as Network Intrusion Detection Systems which instantly determines the source of the attack and the systems affected within the IT network. Furthermore, your insurance company may use Intrusion Prevention Systems which can actively stop intrusions and block data from external IP addresses. Finally, you may use a hardware VPN to establish secure internet connections and encrypted storage programs to guard client data.

Run Frequent Data Backups

Data backups must be conducted daily or during even more frequent intervals. This important practice ensures that your company will be able to recover data that may be corrupted or removed due to cyberattacks.

Use encrypted systems to securely store documents, spreadsheets, financial data, and databases in your insurance companies’ networks and devices. As much as possible, use artificial intelligence or machines for more secure and efficient data storage. Manual data backups tend to be incomplete and time-consuming, while automated systems can alert you about its daily progress and inform you about your storage consumption.

Conduct Regular Assessments

Measure your insurance companies’ efficiency against cyberattacks by testing your systems and employees regularly. Layne Bradley, an instructor at Fort Worth’s Texas Christian University, points out that companies are risking themselves against security breaches unless they have well-tested cybersecurity measures.

You can conduct regular assessments with your cybersecurity team by evaluating the efficiency of your data protection and your network systems. If you’re releasing an online feature, then your IT team or your cybersecurity team must also oversee testing programs, such as code reviews and security testing. You should also conduct scenario-based simulations to properly assess your networks and applications’ protection against cyber attacks.

Before it’s too late, insurance companies must implement multi-level security systems and strategies to protect their business as well as their employees and customers. As cyber attack cases increase, businesses must invest in experts and systems that can prevent, detect, and minimize security breaches.

Exclusively written for by Janice Bax