Cybersecurity, Insurance, and You

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In collaboration with Catalyit, Rhodian Group has put together this handy article about the importance of cybersecurity to the independent insurance industry, general information about cybersecurity legislation, and how to prepare yourself for the future – while also making sure you’re protecting yourself in the present.

What’s the big deal?

Cybersecurity is important to insurance agencies for a multitude of reasons, but chief among them is data. Insurance agencies, as part of their daily operations, collect large volumes of sensitive personal and financial data. Agencies may harbor driver’s license numbers, Social Security numbers, credit files, and electronic healthcare records.

This wealth of information makes agencies a prime target for cybercrime, and cyber criminals will find any means they can to gain access. From their perspective, this sensitive data is just another way to earn money by selling it off and/or holding it for ransom.

Ironically, even as insurtech has enabled insurance agencies to increase operational efficiency, it’s also created some liabilities. Many of these tools are unregulated, so they lack security and privacy considerations as they pertain to the data they collect. That’s why having a trusted cybersecurity partner is so important to the security of your business. We help insurance agents understand how these technologies work, what measures they can take to increase security and reduce exposures, and take appropriate accountability for cybersecurity considerations.

Laws, laws, and more laws

The modern cyber risks that agencies face have not escaped the notice of regulators, which is where state and national cybersecurity laws come into play. Laws vary across the states, but some common ones include:

  • Creating a plan to respond to and report breaches
  • Developing and implementing a Written Information Security Program (WISP)
  • Conducting regular risk assessments and cybersecurity awareness training
  • Monitoring emerging threats and implementing appropriate security measures

These regulations can be burdensome to read, let alone follow. They are often enforced on timelines that don’t necessarily consider the effect they’ll have on your business operations or resources. And the penalty fines alone can wrack up quite the bill before even considering the reputational damage a breach can have on your business. If you are a smaller agency, knowing which provisions you are exempt from can also be tricky. It’s no wonder, then, why so many agencies push these regulations onto the backburner when other, more pressing tasks are at hand every day.

That said, cybersecurity regulations are an important step in creating a safety system for agencies and consumers alike. Complying with these laws is important, not just to avoid hefty fines, but ultimately to help protect the sensitive data you guard by encouraging cybersecurity best practices and long-term strategies. (The provisions of these laws may also be prerequisites for cyber insurance!)

So what now?

Great question! And one we hear often before giving a very succinct answer: Find a trusted cybersecurity partner.

Navigating regulations, creating policies and procedures, and implementing a cybersecurity strategy for your team on a manageable timeline is no small task. It can quickly deplete your time and budget, with little to show for it but added frustration. That’s why we recommend finding a trusted cybersecurity partner to help you through every step. The right provider can help identify your risks, create a plan of action, and get you on the road to becoming more secure and compliant.

To help you find said partner, we’ve created a helpful Cybersecurity Vendor Guide and Checklist. This guide lays out some key qualities to look for in a cybersecurity vendor, such as Approach, Qualifications, and Adaptability, among others. You can also get a crash course in cybersecurity right now with our Cybersecurity Handbook. Make sure to check out our other resources for guides, tips, and tricks related to cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is a complicated topic, with far more to cover than we can fit in one article. But with perseverance and the right partner to guide you, staying safe against evolving threats and being compliant with evolving regulations is attainable!

As always, Rhodian’s cybersecurity solutions experts are available to contact if you have any questions or want to schedule a free cybersecurity consultation. Catalyit members also have access to special packaging and pricing of Rhodian’s services, including combined IT and Cybersecurity solutions – just email [email protected] for more information!

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