Protecting the life, health, and property of clients is why insurance brokers are in business. However, growth is a key metric for each organization, as the more policies issued, the better their weighted average cost performs.
One way insurance brokers are advancing their ability to provide services to clients is by acquiring other brokerage firms, along with their customers and specialties. Often this brings rapid growth, but it comes with unique challenges. Since the acquiring brokerage wants maximum return on investment, they tend to leave the acquired company alone with minimal oversight. This approach might shorten the time required to gain value from the acquisition, but it leads to a jumbled mess of oversight, control, and security.
The information contained in an insurance application can be valuable for numerous malicious purposes. Insurance applications typically contain a wealth of personal and financial information about applicants and their families. All this data is highly sought after by cybercriminals, who can use it to steal individual’s identities, conduct social engineering attacks or medical fraud, or perform additional nefarious activities.
Given the sensitivity and value of the information contained in insurance applications, it is crucial for insurance brokers to prioritize cybersecurity, especially as they acquire other brokerages. Reputation and customer trust are at stake, in addition to regulatory pressures and possible financial damage.
Insurance brokers should focus on these 4 critical areas of cybersecurity as they integrate their newly acquired colleagues:
Access Mapping: Safeguarding sensitive customer data is crucial, so deciding which people should have access is the needed first step. There will be many people from both companies who need cross-domain access to sensitive information, so mapping who is permitted to access data, and under what conditions, will go a long way to easing cybersecurity concerns.
Identity Verification: Verifying the identity of every user is key to ensuring that only authorized individuals can access customer data. Implementing strong authentication protocols, such as multi-factor authentication (MFA), can help mitigate the risk of unauthorized access across both company domains.
Access Control: Implementing a granular access control system is crucial to restricting brokers' access rights to only the necessary data and functionalities required to perform their tasks. Access should be granted according to the principle of least privileged, which helps prevent unauthorized access to sensitive customer information and reduces the risk of data breaches.
Revoke Access: As people change roles or move on to different jobs at other companies, removing access to critical information is imperative. People change jobs regularly post-M&A so having a surefire method to change access (or revoke it entirely) can make life a lot easier, and more secure.
While it may seem difficult, the right tools can really accelerate this transition. By adopting zero-trust access principles and technologies, insurance brokers can establish a more secure environment, protect sensitive data, prevent unauthorized access, and mitigate the risk of data breaches or other malicious activities. Zero trust aligns well with the evolving threat landscape and helps ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of critical insurance systems and customer information.
This ability to secure every connection as the company landscape grows is a crucial step to maintaining customer trust, growing market share, and increasing revenue. With Cyolo, this connection just got a lot easier.
Samuel is the Director of Product Marketing at Cyolo. Before cybersecurity, he spent 7 years working in the ER and loves to tell stories. He is the husband to one, father to four, lives in Bozeman, MT, and would rather be outside. He holds an M.A. in Strategic Leadership from Life Pacific University.