News and Articles
March 27, 2023
Cybersecurity is often in the news, but few insurance agents fully understand its implications. In short, cybersecurity refers to the practice of anticipating and combatting virtual threats. It is especially imperative for insurers because you likely maintain records that include your clients’ sensitive data. Shielding this data from exploitation is every insurance agency’s responsibility. Read on to learn more about the best cybersecurity tactics and strategies for insurance agents like you.
1. Build a Cybersecurity Awareness Plan
Improving overall awareness is one of the first steps to improving your agency’s cybersecurity. Unfortunately, many professionals in the insurance industry still don’t know how to identify the red flags of a potential threat. It is why age-old schemes such as phishing attempts are still often successful. If your colleagues and employees don’t understand the basic principles of cybersecurity, your agency is vulnerable to attack. Remedy this problem by offering training and educational resources.
2. Implement a Strategy for System Recovery
Many cyberattacks go beyond phishing schemes and aim to take down an entire system. This is the case in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. A DDoS attack entails routing excessive and unusual traffic to a website’s server to overwhelm and disable it. You need to have the plan to restore your agency’s system if you ever experience this or any other kind of systemwide cybersecurity attack.
3. Segregate Sensitive Data and Assets
Segregating your agency’s digital assets and data is also essential to cybersecurity. If you have desktop computers in an office frequently used for nonconfidential operations, these devices shouldn’t store privileged information such as client data. Instead, insurance agents should separate these resources and ensure they are securely stored on a device with controlled access. You should further secure any device that houses sensitive information by encrypting its contents. Encryption protects sensitive files by scrambling the text unless the user enters the correct password.
4. Keep System Access Secure and Private
Even if a device does not house privileged information, you should take steps to protect it against cybersecurity threats. This means securing it with login credentials so unauthorized users cannot gain access. Furthermore, you should ensure that employees keep their credentials private. This could lead to a compromise that paves the way for a significant security breach. Cyber insurance offers protection for companies that are at risk of an attack like this.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Cybersecurity
Too many insurance agents dismiss cybersecurity and underestimate its importance. When an attack happens, and your clients’ private information appears online, it will be too late to take it seriously. You can avoid this outcome by investing in a robust cybersecurity plan and getting the right cyber insurance. Underwriters will create a policy that’s perfect for your agency so that you can help your clients defend against cyber threats, too. These tactics will help insurers minimize potential cyber liability and improve security. ◼
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