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Why Life Insurance Companies Need to Invest in Secure Technology

IT leaders at Direct to Consumer (DTC) life insurance companies continue to look for opportunities to improve UX/UI and optimize website conversions. Investments in these revenue-generating enhancements are unquestionably important, but, so, too, is keeping a vigilant eye toward security concerns during budget allocations.

Security isn’t an auxiliary concern, but a core aspect of enterprise technology management for life insurers. The right security approach needs to:

  • Protect sensitive customer data in an increasingly stringent regulatory environment.
  • Ensure that key customer-facing systems are robust in the face of different threats to service delivery.
  • Provide for business continuity in the wake of a natural disaster, cyberattack, or hardware failure.

Exclamation Labs has worked with insurance companies for over 20 years to build digital experiences that successfully convert. To complement this, our DevOps team focuses on security through automation, systems monitoring, and incident response planning. In this article, we provide a concise guide to the importance of secure technology tools for delivering a better customer experience while offering comprehensive protection against threats to business continuity.

Data Protection: A Growing Imperative for DTC Life Insurers

Security threats ranging from natural disasters to ransomware attacks have steep, tangible business costs. It is imperative to factor in the risk of incurring these costs as investments in a more secure, resilient technology environment with the potential to drive substantial ROI. According to research by IBM Security, the average data breach costs nearly $4 million. For breaches in the United States, the cost rises to over $8 million.

To avoid or mitigate these costs, insurance companies need to develop digital environments with a focus not just on functionality, but a systematic approach to security and data management.

And, as legal protections for consumer data become more rigorous, life insurance IT leaders should only expect pressure to invest in security best practices to grow.

Exclamation Labs understands the financial impacts of a data breach. Additionally, the damage done to an insurance company’s reputation may be irreparable. We have protocols to follow, processes to execute, and the tools to use to ensure the security of the application environment.

Enabling Customer Self-Service and a Quality Customer Experience

First and foremost, life insurance companies need to ensure a quality customer experience while supporting the sort of self-service options that today’s digital consumers are coming to expect.

Security is not separate from this goal: a ransomware attack that denies access to critical systems, or a poorly-planned update that imposes downtime can have severe consequences for customers. Investing in enterprise-grade security features isn’t just a matter of preventing harm, but ensuring that investments in digital UX reach their full potential.

Control of Sensitive Personal Data

Customers are coming to expect more responsive and precise control of their personal data—a serious technological challenge given the vast quantities of sensitive personal information handled by life insurance companies.

IT, for instance, needs the ability to rapidly delete all of a customer’s personal data upon request, requiring precise tracking of each user’s data across all organizational data repositories. Supporting these regulatory protected requests will require data to be effectively de-siloed across the entire company.

Laws like Europe’s GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and California’s CPA (Consumer Privacy Act, set to become enforced mid-2020 as the United States’ most comprehensive data protection regulation) are already driving a need for more in-depth data controls.

Backup and Disaster Recovery: Minimize Downtime

First, a robust recovery plan is an absolute necessity—including testing to ensure the plan is ready to execute in the event of a threat to business continuity. Review policies to determine if they need to be refreshed to reflect current operational priorities and technology tools.

Second, backup capabilities allow essential technology services to be brought back online rapidly in the event of a disruption (anything from a DDoS attack to a flooded data center). The right cloud-based solution can ensure that even catastrophic damage to physical infrastructure doesn’t need to impose operational delays. Operations can be scaled back up via secure remote workstations in a matter of hours rather than days or weeks, with website downtime minimized to avoid disruptions to digital customer service.

After the Breach: Ransomware Mitigation

The ability to rapidly re-establish technology operations in the wake of a disaster not only enhances operational resiliency but provides an added layer of defense against ransomware attacks—you can’t be held hostage for data you have recently backed up.

A Technology Partner Who Understands Secure Insuretech Solutions for the Life Insurance Industry

Exclamation Labs has proven experience supporting enterprise-grade solutions for the life insurance industry backed by robust security and resilience features. We build security features that carefully align with the day-to-day business needs of our clients, protecting sensitive data without sacrificing efficiency, mobility, or innovation.

Contact our team and discuss how our 20+ years of experience in the insurance industry can help secure your technology infrastructure.
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