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Insurance Companies: A Hacker’s Paradise

By Eitan Bremler

As more and more insurance companies continue to opt for secure and safe file exchange for their clients’ data, they are at the same time becoming a hacker’s paradise. The reason is simple: insurance companies hold a massive amount of important data, and most hackers are focusing specifically on the file exchange solutions that insurance companies are using.

While many insurance companies use file sharing systems like Dropbox or Copy, the reality is that these aren’t really all that helpful when it comes to security. This was clear from the recent hack of more than 68 million Dropbox users, along with many other such cases as well.

Insurance companies are a prime target for hackers, and more extensive steps must be made to protect clients and their data. According to a recent PwC report, in fact, more and more cyber security issues should be expected for insurance companies in the years to come. As the industry grows in the U.S. and overseas, it’s becoming clear that hackers are simply waiting for their best chance to attack.

Software Defined Access

What are Common Forms of Cyber Attack?

There are many types of attacks plaguing insurers today. The most common forms include data attacks, mechanisms to infect computers, and pharming or phishing or other common forms of malware. Hackers often prey on insurers to steal or destroy sensitive information; exploit victims via stalking or bullying; gain access to corporate trade secrets and knowledge; or complete political goals via various types of attacks.

The move to digital technology also seems to be bringing unwanted results. As insurers move to digital platforms such as agency portals and mobile-based apps, they become more and more susceptible to various cyber risks and attacks. With the healthcare industry being the most targeted industry around in recent years when it comes to cyber attacks, it’s clear that hackers pose a multitude of threats to insurers and their clients.

How Can Hackers be Stopped?

Recent history has shown that any major breach or attack could severely impact an insurer’s market credibility. One of the main things insurance companies can do to prevent this type of damage is to limit access to files.

  • Safe file exchange should be implemented - using dedicated, encrypted solutions that can better protect all information as quickly as possible.
  • Data storage options should be encrypted as well, and outside access should be limited; otherwise information can be stolen in a matter of seconds.
  • Mobile access should also be secured. Most insurance companies do not have good mobile security solutions, if at all. They rely on passwords that can be easily revealed by hackers. A better way to secure mobile access is through full device encryption that’s enforced and monitored. There is also a need to prevent untrusted file-sharing apps from accessing secure documents.
  • Customer portals need to be secured as well. Adding HTTPS and moving application servers out of the DMZ will allow you to get extra layers of protection. You’ll also need a dedicated security solution that monitors access to all of your data, and that can stop any unauthorized access as soon as it’s identified.
  • Data in the cloud can be protected right now by creating local backups, and use cloud services that offer data encryption. Other quick solutions are two-step verification, and encrypting data before adding it to the cloud.
  • Using a secure payment system improves credit card transaction security. This can help prevent insurance companies credit card information from falling into the wrong hands.

The Safe-T Insurance Solution

Safe-T’s insurance solution integrates all the insurance solutions you need under one roof. Safe-T provides a comprehensive set of tools that help you handle annuities, documentation and insurance policies. The Safe-T offering delivers safe file exchange and perimeter protection as well, and comes with complete HIPAA compliance to help deliver better, more secure mobile access. Moreover, insurance applications’ accessibility is secure, agent/client correspondence is always tracked, and documents are handled in a secure manner.

Cyber security should be taken seriously today, and the Safe-T Insurance solution offers the help you need for driving dangerous hackers away. Since both data exchange and data storage are constantly monitored, hacking incidents will sooner rather than later become a thing of the past.

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 Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2016 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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