The insurance industry isn’t known for embracing change quickly: maintaining the status quo can seem easier than adapting new insurance tech. Despite this, insurance agencies tend to face a greater cybersecurity threat than other small to medium-sized businesses due to the sensitive and valuable data they collect from numerous avenues.
With cyberattacks on the rise, and the COVID-19 pandemic forcing many agencies to leave the traditional way of doing things behind, the need for insurers to maintain cyber regulation and compliance has never been greater.
With this in mind, here are four ways insurance agencies can secure their insurance tech to protect their business, employees, and clients.
1.) Use Multi-Factor Authentication
Two-factor or multi-Factor authentication (also known as 2FA or MFA) is an extra layer of protection used to ensure the security of online accounts beyond just a username and password. It requires two types of information from the user—a password or PIN, a code sent to the user’s smartphone, or a fingerprint or facial recognition—before accessing whatever is being secured. The idea is that even if a hacker has figured out an account’s credentials and password, they will be locked out without the extra validation step only accessible from the person’s smartphone.
MFA is so effective in blocking cyberattacks that, in the last three months of 2021, Google automatically required 150 million account holders to enroll in 2FA. The results? Google found that account compromises were half as likely on 2FA accounts than they were for password-only accounts.
2.) Learn How to Spot a Phishing Attack
Phishing scams are becoming increasingly complex, and impersonations are becoming more realistic and difficult to spot. Usually, the attacker poses as an institution or individual you trust and sends users a fake message that claims to be from that trusted party.
Our simplest advice: If it seems too convenient or too good to be true, it probably is! Always check that any links are legit (i.e., not chase.co) and secure (https, not http). Be wary of communications that implore you to act immediately, ask you to provide login or account information via email or message, or warn of negative consequences if you do not “act now!”.
3.) Keep Hardware and Software Up-To-Date
Unfortunately, using outdated technology comes with much bigger risks than just pain and frustration. Outdated desktops and laptops are more vulnerable to modern cyber-attacks. Make sure you’re using tech that’s less than five years old to ensure it has the most recent safeguards.
In addition, with tech platforms constantly scanning for bugs and fixing them, it’s crucial for you to download and update the latest versions of the apps and software you’re using. When possible, use auto-updates to get the latest patches for apps, software, and operating systems.
4.) Don’t Wait Until the Worst-Case Scenario
Instead of waiting for something to break and then looking for someone to fix it, consider working with a managed service provider (MSP) well-versed in the cyber threats specific to the insurance industry. A dedicated MSP technology partner will equip your insurance agency with all the levels of protection it needs to mitigate risk, preparing for disasters before they happen.
For years, Archway Computer has been one of our industry partners, providing managed IT services exclusively for independent insurance agencies. That means keeping your agency’s information secure, ensuring your technology is compliant with cyber regulations in your state, and providing a range of proactive services to keep your computer systems up and running and your agency productive.
For more information about how you can keep your insurance agency’s technology secure, schedule your free Insurance IT Assessment, exclusively for Partner Platform agencies, with Archway Computer Founder Brad Ruben today.