Brokers warned to invest more heavily in cyber security

Image of cyber securityBrokers have come a long way over the past twenty years, especially when it comes to technology. These days very few insurance brokers work exclusively offline, as going online opens up your business and provides a wider market share.

However, as we all know there are certain dangers associated with working online. You just have to look at recent news stories to see that even the biggest names in the industry aren’t properly protecting themselves from cyber-attacks, which is why all brokers need to start taking the issue more seriously.

Over the past two years there has been a huge increase in cyber-attacks which have raised a number of concerns over the effectiveness of security tools used by businesses in the UK. Unfortunately, even though businesses are spending billions of pounds to strengthen their online security, attackers are still managing to find a way through these blocks.

Discussing the issue, Tom Reagan, a cyber insurance executive with Marsh & McLennan, said: “Some companies are struggling to find the money to buy the coverage they want.” He went on to add that it’s becoming even easier for hackers to buy personal information online: “Criminals are now able to purchase the data for around $1 a line which is $4 less than just under a year ago. The lines of data contain full names, addresses, date of birth, social security number and more.”

Meanwhile, Ron Green, MasterCard’s chief information security offices, said: “Security and product development are not mutually exclusive. We don’t look at security as being a solo responsibility. Our executive team has the expectation that we build security into everything we do as a standard practice. [Security] is table stakes for customers now, and you’re expected to deliver.”

Even though all businesses need to take the threat of cyber-attacks seriously, insurance providers in particular are required to take extra care as they hold sensitive, personal data about their customers including addresses, bank details and more. Furthermore, by law insurance companies must take appropriate steps to protect this data – even more so now that number of cyber attacks are on the rise. The Information Commissioners Office also has the power to issue fines to anyone who doesn’t comply with the required safety measures.

As a motorhome insurance broker you may feel that the data you store is not as sensitive as that of say, a broker that specialises in life insurance. However, the truth is that these days even a small amount of information can be used by cyber criminals to access bank accounts and/or commit identity fraud.

In order to protect your customers’ data it’s important that you keep up with news concerning cybercrime and how new or advanced malware could potentially harm your business. As a broker, one of the last things you need is your customers’ data being leaked, which is why it benefits both you and your customers to stay safe online. It is also essential that any business processing card transitions must be PCI compliant so that any payment card data is protected by the PCI Security Standards.

To that end, it may be wise for motorhome brokers to remind their customers on how to stay safe online. For example, you could ask them to call you if they see anything suspect or out of the ordinary on your website as well as not enter any personal details if unsure. Not only will this prevent hackers from stealing your customers’ information, it can also build trust with your customers and secure your reputation as a broker who takes security seriously.

One thing that all brokers should also keep in mind is that even if they run a small business selling niche products such as motorhome insurance, if your website is hacked and your customers’ details are stolen you could be held liable. This is why so many companies, especially those that hold extremely sensitive data, are now investing in public liability cover that includes cyber insurance.

In the future even more brokers will be moving online, which is why you should start thinking about keeping your customers’ and your business safe today. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry and your customers will ultimately hold you responsible should you lose their personal information.

<span style=”font-size: xx-small;”><a href=”” target=”_blank” rel=”nofollow”>Photo</a> by Pixabay</span>

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