With the rise in targeted cyberattacks against small to medium sized businesses, ensuring your independent insurance agency is protected from cyber criminals is critical to the success, and longevity, of your agency. And more often than not, user-error is the biggest weakness when it comes to businesses being susceptible to hackers.
The insurance industry is adjusting to this rapid increase in criminal cyber activity by designing policies that directly address the financial burdens commercial clients face in the digitized world. According to the GAO, the number of cyber-specific insurance policies increased from $2.2 million in 2016 to $3.6 million in 2019, a 60% increase. Yet, in 2019, only 31% of small- and medium-sized businesses had cyber insurance protection.
However, changing just a few of your behaviors can reduce the chances of your agency’s online accounts being hacked.
Use Multi-Factor Authentication
One of the most effective thing you can do to protect your online accounts is turning on multi-factor, or two-factor, authentication. The method uses a secondary piece of information – often a code generated by an app or sent via SMS – alongside a password. Not all forms of multi-factor authentication are equal though. Code generating apps are considered more secure than getting codes via SMS and beyond this physical security keys provide an even more robust layer of protection.
Regularly Update Your Passwords
Using the same password on numerous logins is a rookie mistake. Once hackers get one password, they’ll try it on everything else. We suggest changing your passwords at least a couple of times a year with completely fresh ones, and don’t just reuse the ones for different accounts.
Learn How to Spot a Phishing Attack
Be very suspicious of emails or messages asking for login or account info, and check that any links are legit (i.e. not hsbo-bank.co.uk) and secure (https not http). This is known as phishing and is one of the easiest ways for passwords to be nicked. Our simplest advice: If it seems too convenient or too good to be true, it probably is!
Keep All Software Up-To-Date
With companies always finding new bugs and fixing them, it is crucial for you download and update the latest versions of the apps and software you’re using. When possible, use auto-updates to get the latest patches for apps, software and operating systems.
When Possible, Encrypt It!
Protecting your communications has never been easier thanks to cloud technology. From the messages we send to the files we upload, using encrypted services means that what you’re sending is better protected against surveillance and won’t be accessible if your device gets lost or stolen. Encryption ‘scrambles’ the content so they can’t be read by unauthorized users.
Want more Tips on How to Protect Your Insurance Agency from Hackers?
Archway Computer is the proactive and affordable outsourced IT department for over 200 insurance agencies across the country. Our knowledge and expertise allows us to work towards the goal of ensuring that you have as close to as 100% up-time as possible.
We believe that your agency’s technology should give your agency a competitive advantage. Our team of technology specialists allow us to advise, plan, implement and support your agencies specific technology vision and mission. We want to have you use technology to grow your book of business.