While businesses are increasingly seeking insurance policies to protect themselves from damage caused by a data breach, attacks and breaches against insurance agencies themselves are on the rise. With insurance companies moving towards online solutions and Internet-facing platforms to serve their customers, insurance companies are thought of as an easy target for data breaches.
It is only with effective data destruction policies and strong protocols in place regarding the destruction of data and IT assets that insurance companies will keep their data – and that of their customers – safe.
Insurance: A High-Risk Industry
When it comes to data breaches and cyber-attacks, insurance is an increasingly high-risk industry. IAIS, the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, an international body made from insurance market regulators from countries around the world, has noted that insurers are at high risk of losses from cyber-attacks.
Unfortunately, the insurance industry is becoming increasingly well-known as one that handles high-level confidential information for other companies, but does not have a correspondingly high level of security to protect its data. In addition to the high-level data held by insurance agencies, companies typically have front-end access to financial institutions, both of their own behalf and on behalf of their clients.
Common Vulnerabilities in the Insurance Industry
While these vulnerabilities apply to some extent to many industries, these have been identified as security vulnerabilities most common to the insurance industry.
- Out-of-date software. Software updates fix known access issues and keep it at its most secure. Though it may be tedious at times, failure to keep software updated may give attackers an access point to your data systems.
- Low password security. Passwords must be unique to different accounts and updated regularly. Two-factor authentication should be utilized wherever offered.
- Insufficient employee training. Employees are thought of as the weakest link in a company’s security for a reason, and regular and comprehensive employee training is arguably the most effective way of bridging the gap between employee expectations and employee actions.
- Lack of secure policies to mandate the declassification and disposal of hard drives and other IT assets when they are to be replaced or disposed of.
Causes of Data Breaches in the Insurance Industry
Image courtesy Beta Systems
Beta Systems analyzed the security threats specific to the insurance industry, examining the spectrum of data breach causes from external to internal access.
Those with internal access to an insurance company’s data are limited to employees, while people with external access to an insurance company include:
- Insurance brokers
- Insurance agencies
- Contract partners
Data breaches that occur because of a hard drive or other IT asset being improperly disposed of are in a unique category. Partly due to an internal access breach and partly due to an external access issue, this type of data breach occurs because an employee (person with internal access) does not follow the correct protocols governing the declassification and disposal of IT assets, causing an outsider (the person or group who takes possession of the asset) to become a person with external access to the insurance company’s data.
Insurance Industries Served
- Insurance Companies
- Insurance Brokers
- Risk Management Services
Types of Insurance
- Income protection
- Other types of insurance
Find Out More
All Green Recycling works with insurance companies, insurance brokers, and other players in the industry, ensuring that the confidential data of the insurance company itself, and its customers, remains safe. No matter what sector of the insurance industry you’re in, All Green Recycling can put appropriate measures in place to ensure the sanctity of your highly sensitive data.