Our Partner Platform agencies, like so many others across
the world, have been forced to embrace agency-wide remote work, sometimes with
days’ or hours’ notice. As we adjust to this surprise shift, we turned to our
trusted partners for help. See below for two guest webinars from Strategic
Insurance Software partners Brad
Reuben of Archway Computer and Mary Belka of Eisenhart Consulting.
Agency and insurance management system data security has always been a top priority for us at SIS. We built our Partner Platform agency management system suite with data safety and cybersecurity in mind, and it continues to be a topic we follow.
This past May, agency data security was one of our key topics at our annual Partner National User Conference, where we heard from industry expert Brad Ruben on how to prevent and prepare for security attacks.
One of the reasons we asked Brad to speak is we know security takes teamwork. Though we are confident we’re providing the most secure system to our partner agencies, they are still at risk if they’re not equipping their staff to watch for cyber-attacks.
This summer, we encourage you to take the time to look at your data security measures and re-commit as a staff to protect your customers. Here’s a little advice to get you started.
Get a full re-cap on our National User Conference from SIS President Michael Doran here
Advice from Experts: Equip and Educate
Archway Computer CEO Brad Ruben’s presentation at our National User Conference had quite an impact on attendees. Multiple agency representatives walked away with practical, actionable advice on how they could better manage and protect their data. Highlights from his presentation included:
- There is cause for concern. Over 33,000 phishing attacks and 4,000 successful ransomware attacks occur each day.
- Anti-virus protection is a must. Programs like Webroot and Malware Bytes are essential to keeping you safe.
- Cloud services are the future of security. Data hosting services like Amazon Web Services have 24/7 data surveillance, redundant backups, and multi-character encryption to keep your data safer than you can on your own.
Find out why you should be moving your agency data to the cloud
The most significant takeaway was the emphasis on educating staff on data security. Some of Brad’s tips included:
- Delete suspicious emails. Never click on links from unfamiliar senders. Delete emails from unknown sources and report them to your IT team.
- Password protect sensitive files. When moving files to a USB, sending through email, or saving on a laptop, add password protection to keep them safe.
- Use complex passwords. Employ number, letter, and punctuation combinations, including using different cases for letters. And be sure to use multiple passwords, so you don’t have just one tied to all accounts.
- Don’t install programs you don’t know. Even something as harmless looking as a computer game or unknown anti-virus software can be hiding as malicious programs. Ensure staff consult with IT before installing anything.
SIS Partner Platform agencies can access the full presentation on PartnerNet
Read more ways to minimize agency data security risks
Mandates from States: Staying Up to Standards
Though you should be keeping your agency data safe no matter what, some agencies are legally obligated to do so by their state. States like New York, Ohio, and South Carolina have individual regulations agencies should know.
We keep our standards in line with the strictest state regulations, ensuring Partner Platform is up to standard throughout the U.S. Some of the measures we use include:
- Restricted admin access limiting only a few select persons to accessing data.
- Multi-factor authentication and complex passwords to access restricted data.
- End-to-end data encryption to ensure information is continually protected.
- Safe and swift disposal of nonpublic information the moment it’s no longer needed.
- Redundant back-ups and disaster recovery plan to safeguard against power outages or security breaches.
Discover more on our commitment to data security here
Get the Right Data Security Partner in SIS
We make a commitment to our partner agencies to uphold the highest security standards, ensuring they can trust us with their data. We’re partners in security with our clients, working with and for them to create and support sustainable, secure infrastructure.
Hear what our clients have to say about their experience with Partner Platform and SIS on our Client Stories page.
Want to find out more? Get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.747.7005, Option 6.
It’s tough enough to win new business. Whether it’s a new insured, renewal, or endorsement to a current policy, you want to make the “sign on the dotted line” process as quick as possible. Agency data and signature security may be the furthest thing from your mind.
Your customers are your #1 asset. Without them, you have no business! So, you want to have a positive relationship with each of them. A big part of that is building trust, especially when it comes to keeping their information secure.
Are you ready to take on that responsibility? Only if you can say your agency is protected from cyber risk. A protected agency can make the following statements to their customers. Can you?
“Our agency data is monitored 24/7.”
If you’re utilizing an offsite, cloud-based data storage system, your data is protected round the clock.
See even more reasons to house your data offsite
“We can securely receive sensitive customer information.”
Multi-character password-protected email encryption keeps sensitive data safe.
“Our agency data is backed-up regularly.”
Cloud services also provide consistent redundant back-ups, ensuring your agency’s data is doubly safe.
Hear from industry experts on why cyber security matters and how to protect your agency
“We have an agency plan to combat cyber-attacks.”
Every agency should have a plan in place. Know where your data is stored, how to access it during an attack, and your recovery process.
“Our agency has data security measures in place.”
Employ agency regulations around data safety, including strong passwords, control over application downloads, and limited access to sensitive data.
Let them know how you’re storing data, the measures you’re taking to keep it safe, and notify them immediately in the unlikely event of a data breach.
Connection and transparency is a big part of what we do at SIS. We keep our clients informed and maintain open communication about how their data stays safe with Partner XE’s secure infrastructure.
You can find out more about how Partner XE keeps agency data safe on our website. Or, get in touch with us at email@example.com or 800.747.7005, Option 6.
“Cyber security” and “cloud storage” may seem like buzzwords, but both are more than just phrases – they are critical to agency operations and insurance data protection.
Data is your agency’s most valuable asset. Customer data, policy data, data on your gains and losses, and other critical pieces are the fuel on which your agency operates. You need to protect this data, and easily access it to keep your agency moving.
Why Cloud Storage?
It may be counter-intuitive that your agency’s data is safer “so far away” with an offsite cloud computing provider. But, in our super-connected world, it is never more than a click away. In reality, housing data offsite heightens its protection. Cloud providers specialize in securing and processing data, meaning your agency’s valuable information is in the safe hands of experts.
Offsite data storage through the cloud is the means for your data’s security. It ensures overall agency cyber security along with speed and ease of access to your agency’s data, among other benefits. If you don’t use cloud storage yet, here are just a few reasons why it’s time to invest in this critical piece of agency technology.
Read more about how to keep your agency’s data safe
1. Your Data Stays Safe
Data threats can come in many forms: hardware theft, hacking, natural disaster, and structural agency damage, to name a few. Geographic redundancy and multi-character password data encryption used in offsite storage ensure agency data is safe from such threats.
With cloud storage, data comes in and out through closely monitored access points. Cloud providers also stay up on industry and government data security standards, so you know your agency’s information is at the height of protection.
2. Your Data is Always Accessible
While securing your data is most important, accessing it is just as critical. Cloud storage allows you to access agency information anywhere you have an internet connection. Such connectivity means you can do business faster and serve customers better.
Data accessibility is vital should your agency fall victim to a security threat. Cloud providers work hard to ensure their facilities are safe from natural disaster areas, but you can’t guarantee the same for your agency. Should your agency’s hardware be compromised, you’ll be glad it’s not critical to data access. Offsite data storage allows you to seamlessly transition your operations to temporary spaces as you pick up the pieces.
Get tips on keeping data safe when accessing on the go
3. Your Data (and Agency) Can Easily Grow
Cloud storage also leads to faster data processing time. This streamlines operations and quickens customer response. Happier customers mean more business, and offsite data storage allows your agency to keep up with that growth. A simple increase in storage space is all your agency needs to add new locations or keep up with ever-emerging market trends.
4. Your Data Costs You Less
Storing agency data offsite can cost dramatically less than investing in the infrastructure to house it within your agency. Cloud storage providers already have the space, servers, and software to house your data, and you’re sharing costs with the dozens of other agencies renting their services. And you don’t need to add servers or other hardware as you grow – all is taken care of through the cloud. Finally, most providers offer pay per use, so you’re only paying for what you need.
Discover other essential agency tech to move your business forward
Why Not Consolidate?
The best and most convenient way to get cloud storage and data security is through your agency management system. Your management system houses all your agency data, so it makes sense to have that data hosted in a secure environment. Talk to your management system provider about offsite storage and cloud security in an effort to consolidate your expenses and heighten your insurance data protection.
At SIS, we house all Partner XE data with industry-leading cloud service providers like Expedient Data Centers and Amazon Web Services, in geographically distributed regions. All of our clients automatically gain the security, accessibility, and savings associated with cloud storage through our Partner XE management system.
To find out more about our secure infrastructure, visit our website at sispartnerplatform.com or contact us at 800.747.7005, Option 6.
Every agency has a management system, but not every system is utilized to its fullest. Many agencies set up their management system, plug in customer and policy data, and don’t use it for much else. Yet, so much more can be done when a system has the right ingredients for success.
Our most recent eGuide addresses these needs, and outlines how to apply each feature to fully maximize your agency’s processes. These ingredients include:
- Paperless workflow
- Automated data input and output
- Security in the cloud
- Customer service that goes above and beyond
If even one of these ingredients is off, or you don’t know how to use it, you run the risk of operating your agency at less than full capacity. Check out the eGuide, Recipe for Getting the Most Out of Your Agency Management System, and see how your management system and agency operations measure up.
Looking for more ways to make your agency more efficient? Check out our other eGuides, focusing on utilizing cloud apps to maximize efficiency, tips on increasing agency productivity, best practices for E & O management, and more. Have an idea for a guide you’d like us to explore? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get the conversation started.