It's no news that the insurance industry is known for huge amounts of sensitive customer data. The more data an insurance company has, the more interesting it is to cybercriminals. This is a huge reason why this data must be properly secured. More importantly, considering a big part of it is denominated as personally identifiable information (PII). Fortunately, digital transformation has ensured that a correct cybersecurity strategy is high on the agenda at insurers. But what challenges does this industry face?
With the trend of moving to the cloud, security related to cloud environments has also become a major concern within the industry. This is due to the fact that if cloud security standards are not observed, there can be major consequences. Think of cyber criminals hacking into your cloud environment and putting releasing data publicly. Therein lies the first challenge. Indeed, security management in hybrid and multi-cloud environments is very complex. Insurers must therefore look at methods and tools that work seamlessly between public cloud providers, private cloud providers, and on-premises deployments.
Another challenge that many insurers face is becoming fully data-driven. As they base their strategic plans and decisions on customer data, they must be data-intelligent to act faster and keep up with developments. Those who succeed in this benefit from higher revenues, greater efficiency, and improved profitability. Resulting in an advantage over their competitors. But when insurers become dependent on data, it is important that they use a holistic strategy that incorporates issues such as compliance, governance, privacy, resilience, and auditing.
Smarter and more automated
Even though there are several tools that can be deployed to effectively secure technology, such as antivirus/anti-malware, application security, and data encryption, human intervention in security remains necessary. Especially when it comes to elevated alerts and incidents. That can be challenging for insurers whose core business is not cybersecurity. The solution lies in automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks, using smart technologies. This allows cybersecurity teams to focus on activities where they can make a difference. It also allows deficiencies in technology to be identified and corrected through formal procedures, and facilitates the standardization of tools. This avoids the use and implementation of a wide variety of security tools that incur higher costs.
Remote working is here to stay and employees of global companies are eager about this. But this also brings risks as more employees are working remotely. Traditional security methods that rely on perimeters, passwords, and manual permission management are inadequate. Home workers are increasingly targeted by cyber-attacks such as phishing, malware and password attacks. To face this challenge, insurers working with strictly sensitive data must fully and consistently implement the corresponding security procedures.
In this regard, many insurers are already using Role Based Access Control (RBAC) methods. In addition, Zero Trust approaches should become a priority when securing remote workstations. This ensures that all employees, whether they are connected to the organization's network, are authenticated, authorized and validated when accessing applications, data and documentation.
These four challenges stand in the way of insurance companies rolling out their cybersecurity strategy. The question is not whether but how they will confront them. The above solutions can get them started in forming a good shield in this fight against cybercrime.