Insurance Companies are Often a Target of Cyber Attacks

Financial companies and healthcare facilities have been known to attract would-be cyber criminals. As such, these industries recognize their attractiveness due to the information they hold, and are becoming more secure. Insurance companies are now being recognized as a vulnerable target, and are being advised to tighten their cyber security measures.

Business woman working on a lap top in her office.

What is at Risk When an Insurance Company Has a Data Breach?

A data breach in an insurance company can put significant customer information at risk. Insurance companies deal with a large amount of personal, financial, and health information about their clients, and any breach that releases this information to a cyber criminal can be catastrophic. A breach can cost an insurance company a high price, both in the money it will spend to remedy the breach and in the cost of their reputation and future clients.

Why Insurance Companies are Targeted

Insurance companies are targeted primarily because of the information they have. When a cyber criminal targets an insurance company, they know they will have access to social security numbers, financial information, all personal information including addresses and birthdates, and some medical information. When there is so much valuable data for criminals, insurance companies become a natural target. Because insurance companies are processing so many files, there are plenty of opportunities for a cyber criminal to succeed.

While many attacks may include weaponized software, such as viruses or malware, phishing schemes are at an all time high. Many insurance companies are large with many potential points to attack. Hackers may try to trick employees into revealing usernames and passwords. These employees often think they are providing this information to other employees or clients. As more employees are working from home, they may find it even more difficult to quickly verify the requests they are receiving, and hackers are taking advantage of the situation. If even one insurance agent is tricked into opening an attachment from a phishing email, the entire company can be compromised.

How to Protect Your Insurance Company from a Data Breach

Focusing solely on detecting malware and viruses is not as effective as you may hope. Threats are constantly evolving, and anti-virus software may not always recognize new threats. Threat actors are becoming more creative and adjust constantly.

In addition to security software, which you likely have in place, insurance companies can protect themselves by making sure that all employees are aware of the potential risks and are trained accordingly. Many more employees may be working from home right now, and employees need to be just as vigilant as if they were in the office. All employees of insurance companies need to be informed and trained in how to identify suspicious activity and what to do when they come across a potential threat.

How Can AccuShred Help?

Because insurance companies are privy to so much sensitive personal data, they need to be even more vigilant about keeping client information secure. Insurance companies must be proactive about security, and all employees need to make sure they are taking every precaution to keep their information safe and recognize potential threats to mitigate them efficiently. Re-visiting safe practices for cyber-security on a regular basis is important to make sure every employee understands what they can and can’t do with regard to sensitive company data. Having a plan in place in the event that a potential threat is recognized is imperative, and also making sure employees know what to look for can help avoid a data breach. Let us help you with your data protection needs. Contact AccuShred for more information about our data destruction services or to schedule an assessment of your current data security measures.