Top 5 Security Concerns for Insurance Agencies in 2021
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In 2021, it’s more important than ever to secure your data.
Insurance agencies have a unique asset that makes them prime targets for the predatory tactics of hackers and cybersecurity threats—the extensive library of client data that agencies use to do business.
Within the rapidly-changing world of technology and cyber dependency, filing cabinets and desks covered with crucial documents can’t hold a candle to the efficiency of modern data storage with insurance CRMs. But when paper copies give way to online databases, security threats multiply.
If you’re looking to step up your cybersecurity for your agency management system, you’ll need to know exactly what you’re defending your client’s data from. Below, we explain the top five threats to insurance software you must be aware of in 2021.
1. Ransomware Threats
Just as a criminal might hold victims hostage for a ransom, cybercriminals may hold your company’s important data hostage for monetary gain. Ransomware attacks involve malware that can sneak into multiple aspects of your business’s data storage and insurance CRM to lock you out of your documents.
If your company doesn’t pay the ransom, cybercriminals can do one of two things, depending on the type of ransomware attack.
Firstly, these individuals can’t always access your information. But if you don’t pay the ransom, they will prevent you from accessing entire hard drives worth of data, slowing your company’s progress to a halt.
Secondly, if they do have access to your files, they’ll be able to use your clients’ data for anything they want, including selling personal information on the dark web. This can lead to massive personal issues for your clients and legal action against your company.
Once you pay the ransom, the ransomware operator may or may not provide an encryption key that will let you back into the system, but these costs can be major financial hits for your company. Since this strategy is so devastating, it’s important to secure every aspect of your data storage to keep your data safe.
2. Software Vulnerability
Cybercriminals use vulnerabilities in software and operating systems to gain access to your personal data. Once these threats become evident, insurance CRM companies and operating systems often create patches and programs to mitigate the dangers of cyberattacks. But outdated systems can still be vulnerable.
While it can be easy to ignore your computer’s notifications, you must update your systems whenever software updates are offered in order to lower the risk of cyberattacks. Failing to do so can lead to data breaches and data theft that could leave your company in shambles.
Unfortunately, not all software-based attacks come solely from outdated software. Data breaches can be a result of untrustworthy insurance software and underdeveloped security services. So when you choose insurance agency software, learn as much as you can about their security and prevention measures. While cyberattacks are not 100% preventable, up-to-date counter-measures can keep you safe from the vast majority of strategies that cybercriminals use.
3. Malicious Third-Party Partners
Between payment processing and online services, third-party partners are integral for insurance agencies’ success. But not every third-party service you find is looking for a symbiotic partnership.
While some cybercriminals can make convincing websites and advertisements, the more common form of third-party threats is from underdeveloped security measures from genuine companies.
Most companies don’t take comprehensive precautions when they engage with third-party services. If you’re going to partner with a third party, it’s important to thoroughly screen their security policies. Ensure they take preventative measures to keep data safe. Find out about their policy on data breaches, and be aware of exactly what data they have access to.
When you take the time to evaluate third-party services, it can mean the difference between a healthy partnership and a major security risk.
4. Cloud Vulnerability
With a majority of online data storage contained in online libraries and clouds nowadays, cloud data storage has become a key target for cybercriminals looking to get their hands on your clients’ info. Between account theft and denial of service attacks, it’s important that you take the proper steps to prevent data breaches.
When cyber thieves get their hands on your login information, they can change your passwords and identification credentials in order to keep you completely out of your own system — so preventative measures are dire. Implement a thorough cyber risk management plan and extensive security measures for your online data banks to lower the dangers of this type of attack.
5. Social Engineering
Social engineering is an umbrella term for various ways that cybercriminals use communication to hack into your system. This can be anything from phishing emails to social media, but this type of attack always requires some sort of action on you or your employees' part to compromise your data.
The most common type of social engineering is phishing. This process involves cybercriminals sending out disguised emails or messages to get you to click on an unsafe link or share crucial login information with them. While it may seem easy to identify a suspicious email as a security threat, there’s no guarantee that someone in your company won’t take the bait.
If someone does click on the link or share sensitive login info, the hacker may now have access to your system. So while security software can help lower the chances of this taking effect, the best preventative measure for this type of attack is to train your staff to recognize and avoid these threats before they become an issue.
How Can You Keep Your Important Data Safe?
While there’s no surefire way to prevent a cyberattack, you can mitigate online threats by educating your employees on proper security measures. The more that your employees know about avoiding security threats, the more safe your clients’ data will be.
It’s also vital to use software and services that you can trust with your data. With NASA’s variety of advanced preventative measures and security tools, our Eclipse Insurance Agency Management System is a great place to start.
Get a free quote today to ensure your clients’ data stays safe and secure.