Increased use of digital channels and social media is a good thing for the insurance industry. It creates personalized customer experiences, improves agility and provides the flexibility needed in this increasingly competitive marketplace.

At the same time, it introduces very serious concerns about cyber-security. With many transactions conducted over the Internet, consumers can be at risk from cyber-attacks, identity theft and fraud. With consumer loyalty and trust extremely low, that’s a risk that most insurers can’t afford to take.

Consider that since 2005, more than 346 million records containing sensitive personal information has been compromised in security breaches. And in 2009, a survey by Actimize found that 81 percent of financial institutions expected increases in ATM and debit card fraud.

A proactive approach to combating cyber crime

What can insurers do to protect themselves from cyber crime? At Accenture, we recommend a proactive approach, focused on anticipating new threats, identifying security elements that can address those threats and weaving those features throughout the enterprise.

This last component is key. In order to be effective, cyber security must be incorporated into processes throughout the enterprise infrastructure and digital assets, not just applied to the perimeter.

Accenture’s cyber security specialists have identified six guiding principles for developing a comprehensive cyber security strategy:

  • Identify and secure the IT assets themselves.
  • Build a hard-nosed culture of security.
  • Pay close attention to application security.
  • Check and double-check user identity.
  • Get smart about mobile device security.
  • Develop acute situational awareness.

Learn more about how to develop an effective cyber security strategy. Download Rebuilding confidence in financial services through robust cyber security strategies.

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