How mobile security solutions affect the insurance industry

By Jonathan Crowl

| Insurance

In the face of growing cybersecurity threats, many businesses are desperate for ways to protect themselves from severe financial losses created by malicious attacks. Many are even turning to insurance companies for help. According to PwC, the market for cyber insurance is projected to hit $7.5 billion by 2020.

But while these enterprises are hoping insurance companies can help mitigate losses, those insurance organizations are also seeking ways to protect themselves from emerging security threats. These businesses haven’t solved their own challenges regarding mobile security and the need for better insurance apps and data solutions. This is especially true when it comes to supporting employees and improving security as well as their productivity.

Between insurance apps, claims management software and other business solutions relevant to their industry, insurance brands are eager to adopt technologies that address today’s security threats. Here are some ways insurance companies are using mobile to support employees through better, more secure technologies.

Cloud-based data storage with two-factor authorization

Cloud-based solutions are a boon for insurance companies, both in terms of employee productivity and in overall enterprise security. Insurance companies should seek out a cloud-based data solution that offers industry-compliant storage for customer data and other sensitive information. All access points to this cloud-based storage also need to be secured, which is best done through the use of a mobile device management (MDM) platform. With an MDM solution in place, employee-owned mobile endpoints can be easily protected with two-factor authorization and other proven security layers.

Credentialing is also easy to support through MDM solutions, controlling the access to different types of data. But storing data in the cloud can serve a variety of business purposes for insurance employees, especially workers out in the field. Since data is stored in the cloud, it can quickly be accessed by a range of authorized roles throughout the organization. This eliminates the lag time of waiting for documents and data to be transferred between employees and departments.

Support teams and software for disaster recovery

Like any other business, insurance companies have no choice but to prepare for a worst-case scenario. Disaster recovery plans are a critical component of this preparation. Effective disaster recovery can help mitigate losses and improve recovery after a breach or other data disaster, and the process is best organized and led by a specialized team dedicated to disaster recovery planning.

This specialized team should be composed of IT specialists and other business leaders to establish a workflow for restoring data and business functions in order of their priority. This team effort can be improved through the use of disaster recovery software that uses cloud-based storage and retrieval solutions to maintain business continuity and minimize downtime.

This benefits insurance employees by helping them return more quickly to their regular workflow. When workers are able to complete their job responsibilities, the organization’s lost productivity is reduced, and the financial losses suffered by the disaster are diminished.

Regular testing for mobile security vulnerabilities

Employee training can go a long way toward protecting your organization from mobile security threats, but they’re not enough. Continued retraining and education are required. Insurance companies have the options of running live simulations of malware or phishing attacks to test their employees’ responsiveness, as well as the responsiveness of their entire IT cybersecurity front.

By using anti-virus or other enterprise security software that offers simulated attacks, insurance companies can test the system as a whole to identify potential cracks or vulnerable endpoints. At the same time, employees can be tested to make sure protocols are being followed. Use simulated attacks as teaching moments that keep security top of mind for employees while providing real-life experience in how to detect, assess and react to potential security threats.

Securing data through network segregation

With insurance employees often handling communication, data and other content and assets from a wide range of sources, network segregation is a useful way to isolate threats while allowing workflows to proceed undistributed. With a network segregation scheme, data and other sensitive digital assets are stored in safe zones where email content, attachments and other assets can be analyzed to assess their threat level. If something suspicious is identified, such as a link leading to a potential malware site, the element posing the threat is neutralized and removed, while the rest of the message can proceed to the recipient.

This segregation of potentially dangerous files and links allows workflows to continue unimpeded while IT evaluates and addresses the suspicious element. This is a better way of supporting workers and their productivity while also thoroughly watching assets to identify potential threats. As PropertyCasualty360 points out, it’s also an improvement over sandbox security solutions, which throw away the entire email or communication if it contains a suspicious element — a process that puts a strain on employee workflows.

Between insurance apps, communications tools, cloud-based software and other solutions, the insurance industry has been aided greatly by the advent of mobile technologies. But the benefits of mobility can only be reaped by these organizations when security strategies are in place to defend against emerging threats without getting in the way of employers. These businesses are gradually finding the right mix of solutions to fend off cyber threats while uplifting their workforce.