Insurers have to collect a large amount of information on their clients; information is what helps insurers make responsible decisions about who and what to cover and how much to charge for that coverage. But if you must collect the information, you’re then responsible for keeping it safe. A hack that exposes client data could be catastrophic for your clients and for your business and reputation. Take a look at some of the things that your agency can do to protect client data.
All Companies Are at Risk of a Data Breach
Like any company in the modern era, your insurance agency has to worry about hacks that affect client data. Some of the biggest and most devastating hacks of recent years have involved companies ranging from social media giants to credit reporting agencies to payroll providers. There’s no one type of company that’s vulnerable, which means insurance agencies are possible targets as well.
Understand Your Malware Options
Various security suites offer a wide variety of malware tools, but you’ll make better decisions if you understand what they are and in what possible ways malware could affect your business.
Some people don’t realize that clicking on a link or file in an unsolicited email can release malware that can affect the entire network. And even those who do understand can be fooled by a sophisticated fake or in a moment of inattention, so you’ll want to make sure that your system is scanning incoming emails for these threats. You’ll also need to be aware of the possibility of malware found on certain sites or in certain downloads and how to prevent those insecurities. And while they may be less well-known, there’s a recent trend of ransomware attacks where the hackers demand large sums of money to release your own network and data. Because these are becoming more common, you’ll want to protect against them as well.
Use Encryption Services
There’s no reason to allow data to be easily translatable by anyone who happens to access it. Best practices for security involve using a protocol that encrypts data both when it’s in transit and when it’s not moving at all.
One common way to do this is with key cryptography. In this case, the “key” is simply a type of information that’s used to encrypt or decrypt. Private keys are stored in the hardware of the device or in the user’s software. If you’re not making use of encryption technology, it’s a relatively simple upgrade that you can make right now.
Opt for a Dedicated Server
It’s common practice, especially for newer or smaller businesses, to share servers to save money. But this is a security risk, and if you’re responsible for a large amount of sensitive client data, you may not feel comfortable with it.
Dedicated servers do cost more upfront. However, you’ll be able to honestly offer your clients a level of protection that they wouldn’t receive from competitors who share servers and are thus vulnerable to attacks on other users of the server. Consider building this kind of privacy protection into your business model. Today’s customers understand their vulnerabilities and are eager and motivated to protect their information.
What else should you be doing to help your agency thrive? To find out more about how the American Agents Alliance can help, contact us.