While cloud computing continues to transform developments in information technology services, this has also contributed to a rise in cyber attacks throughout every industry, including insurance. What’s more, the increased use of tablets and smartphones leaves insurers vulnerable to hackers, as company personnel use these devices to access the Internet, email, along with company proprietary programs and software such as insurance ISO rating systems, admin platforms, etc. that contain customer information. These advances while extremely beneficial to companies are also bringing additional exposures that can do significant harm to your business if the right precautions are not in place.

Hackers can illegally obtain information stored on cloud. And while the targets have changed over time and the stakes higher, they have one goal: The theft of individual information or identity for profit. Moreover, those interested in committing cyber crimes no longer need to break into a business’ network. Now all they need to do is to find an account ID online. For example, if they manage to make their way into the management system of a cloud, they have direct access to huge numbers of passwords and credit card numbers. Last year, Sony learned this the hard way when 24 million customer accounts were compromised.

Solutions to this growing concern

Today, encryption in the cloud to prevent outside hackers and external partners — even the cloud provider themselves — from accessing a company’s private data is critical, including its insurance rating software and all customer information. In addition, clearly defined IT security rules must be established and followed by all employees throughout the organization. Each employee needs to be aware of the company’s security’s protocols and properly trained. Additionally, your security managers need to be in close contact with general management. Your company must also remember to keep its existing security procedures up to date.