What's your weakest link in your business? While your employees might be lovely people who are exceptional at what they do, unfortunately, they are all too often the weak link when it comes to cybersecurity. What can you do to make sure that your insurance company does not fall victim to hacking due to an employee's mistake?
Why Employees Fail to Protect Your Cybersecurity
Your employees are most likely quite devoted to your business. They're not covert insurance data hackers. It's their unfamiliarity with cybersecurity practices and processes that gets them and you into trouble, not their intentional misuse of data.
As an insurance agency, you hold a lot of personal information about your clients. It's your job to protect that, so you need to put processes and practices in place to make sure that your employees can protect your cybersecurity. Combine this with a lack of industry guidance, since insurers "…have historically faced far fewer regulatory requirements when it comes to information security," and you have a recipe for security failure, according to ITR Portal.
Avoid Data Breaches
While some cybersecurity threats occur due to hacking, many of your actual data breaches will be due to employees who accidentally send information to the wrong person. For instance, a paper or emailed copy of a statement could go out to the wrong email address. Make sure that you have processes in place for employees to follow, and consider safer methods of sending information. For instance, if there are a lot of problems sending data to the wrong client over email, could each client have a login to a secure system instead?
Help Your Employees Understand Phishing Attacks
According to Dash Lane, "91% of data breaches start with a phishing attack." A hacker poses as someone reliable and tricks your employee into opening an email or an attachment. Even clicking on a link within the attachment can lead to the installation of malware. Make sure that your employees know how to be suspicious of these emails, which often look like legitimate emails at first. Even the website links can look legitimate, although they are often similar but not identical to the actual website.
Make Sure Your Data Is Protected Outside Your Office
What happens when one of your vacationing employees decides to check work information on an unsecured Wifi hotspot? It could result in a disaster for your company. Let your employees know what kind of security you require for mobile devices so that a mobile employee or someone who works outside the office has the same level of security as those who work in the office.
Evaluate Your Processes
Don't just set up new cybersecurity processes and assume that they are being followed or even that they are actually working. Create a formal plan with check-ins, and conduct continuous discussion and training regarding cybersecurity. You can also hire people to test your security systems and conduct tests that reveal the weaknesses in those systems.
Train Your Employees to Understand Suspicious Signs
Is your computer giving error messages? Is it working more slowly than usual? The signs of a cyber attack in progress aren't always obvious. Make sure that your employees know what to look for so that they can be ready to let your tech team know about any problems, even if the symptoms aren't immediately obvious as a cyber attack. It's better to be safe than to lose your data to a hacker.
At American Agents Alliance, we want to make sure that your business runs smoothly. That's why we collaborate to offer E&O insurance, discounts for insurance providers, and learning and networking opportunities. Contact us today for more information.