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A Reactive Approach to Security can Catch Insurers Off-guard.

On July 2018, SingHealth, the largest network of healthcare institutions in Singapore, had been under a severe cyber-attack and the personal data of around 1.5 million patients, including those of Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong, was stolen. – Straits Times reports

The insurance industry is one of the richest data-driven business, and the consequences of a data breach extend far beyond the reputational damage that results from negative news headlines.

Insurance companies: An appealing target to hackers

Data is both, asset and liability, and the business of insurance is based on dealing with various uncertainties. In the past couple of years, the insurance industry performed badly in the cyber-battle. Despite having collected all the sensitive information, technology innovations and new business models caught insurers off-guard.

In September 2017, AXA suffered a cybersecurity breach in Singapore, in which the data of 5,400 of its customers were compromised. Such recent attacks highlight the fact that the companies which collect individual personal data are attractive prey for the cybercriminals.

A single security breach could cost more than a company earns in a year, however many organizations still don’t recognise the vitality of investments to combat the potential data security incidents.

Prevention of Data Breach:

Eugene Lee, director of business development at Connectivity Global, while sharing his insights to Insurance Business; on measures to be taken to mitigate cyber risks said:
“Companies which collect individuals’ personal data are an attractive target for cybercriminals and these companies should ensure that necessary steps are taken to mitigate these cyber risks.”

The insurance industry cannot afford to take a reactive approach. The insurance industry is entrusted by the customers with a vast array of non-public, personally identifiable information. By securing the customer and their financial data will not only protect the brand reputation but also add to the profitability.

To combat with the incidents of a security breach, the insurance firms must ensure that the policy and procedures relating to cybersecurity are clearly communicated to the workforce. They must formulate a sound response plan to recover their assets in case of an event of a breach.

According to the World Insurance Report 2018, Apple is partnering with CISCO, Aon and Allianz on cyber risk management solutions to protect the middle market and other enterprises from malware and ransomware.

The insurance company should prioritise its investment in efficient, professional, and specialized IT teams and consultants, to deal with new emerging threats.

A digital committee is the need of the hour for every Insurance organization.The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India is requiring all insurance companies to appoint a full-time CISO. The CISO helps to understand the IT infrastructure and operations and build effective security in IT across the organization in support of business requirements and objectives.

Effective E-mail security solutions should be adopted, as over 90% of the malware are transmitted over this most common channel for business communication.
An AI approach for security in insurance is the new wave of innovation. AI adds to the power and speed required to tackle huge volumes of attacks of countless variety. One such application is Connectivity Global’s Receive Guard product, which is an AI-enabled email security solution.

No one has a crystal ball this accurate, to make future predictions as to how many data breaches we will see in the not so distant future, and how big are they going to be.
However, Insurance firms must rapidly increase their agility to adopt these new business models; to cater to the security breaches in insurance, evolving customer preferences and to deliver definitive business value.

World Insurance Report 2018


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