Is Your Agency Management System Secure?

Your data is important. Consider how frustrating it is to hear about yet another security breach where your personal information may have been among the data that was leaked. We all expect the services we use to be proactive about keeping our information secure, but did you also consider that your own clients have that very same expectation of you, their agent?

While EZLynx continues to aggressively ensure our system is secure, in the end all it takes is a simple username and password for someone (hopefully you) to access all of your client data in our system.

That is why multi-factor authentication is so important, and that is why we are encouraging you to enable this feature on your account.

What does this mean?

You may have heard of this before, and you likely have already experienced it at your banking website. To put it simply, multi-factor (or two-factor, two-step, etc.) authentication ensures that just because someone has your password, they still cannot access your account until they complete another step to prove their identity.  They must also have access to a second means of authentication, usually in the form of your physical mobile phone, which most likely is never far away from your hand!

How do I turn it on?

It’s very simple and will only take you a couple of minutes.  First, the administrator at your agency will need to log into their EZLynx account, hover over the Settings menu, then choose the Agency Admin link.  From this page, click on the Security Settings tab and choose from the available Two-Step Verification options for your agency.

Once this is done, as each user at your agency logs into their EZLynx account, they will be guided through a quick set up process to enable the feature for their individual account.

We suggest that users choose the mobile phone verification option primarily, but if they also enable the email option, be sure that your users each use a different password for their email account than the one used for their EZLynx account.

The State of Data Security

If you’re an independent insurance agent, your consumer data may be at risk. Data security has changed, and agencies utilizing in-house management systems have become increasingly exposed to exploitation, information loss, and damages. Physical, on-location information storage and hosting methods are placing agents at risk, and your stored information, while seemingly protected, is less secure than you may think.

Data security has become a critical problem for many companies. Between 2005 and 2015, over 800 million records have been stolen as a result of a data breach according to the Identify Theft Resource Center. Current reports reveal that 2016 again shattered all previous records for individual data breach incidents—exposing vital corporate and user information on an epic scale. All indications point to 2017 ending as another record-breaking year as well.

Modern independent insurance agents are particularly at risk. Think about all the consumer information that you have in your system. Insurance agents store names, addresses, birth dates, social security numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers, and more.

While large insurance carriers and agencies have the budgets to maintain comprehensive protection, smaller independent agents are at the greatest risk because they often lack the resources to adequately secure the data that they maintain. A single data breach can damage a well-established insurance agency, harming your valued customers and your reputation in the process. Unfortunately, most insurance agents lack the technical expertise needed to fully prepare for every possible contingency, not to mention the financial resources required to adequately respond to a breach.

Protecting the Home Front

Power outages, fire, vandalism, flooding, and mishandled information all compromise data. User exploitation and malicious activity knows no bounds, leaving a small business’s data at risk. Consider this: Your servers are stolen. You’ve located malware. An employee has corrupted vital data. How will you respond? More importantly, how will you answer irreversible damages?

Companies guarding data must hop through numerous hoops to ensure competent protection. The work involved includes internet monitoring, access allowances, firewalls, encryption, anti-malware services, hacking prevention seminars, staff training, data security enforcement, premises security monitoring, risk assessment, and more. Do you do these things? Cloud-based providers like EZLynx do, and we continue to roll out even more stringent security measures.

Modern Security and Cloud Storage

Cloud-based agency management systems minimize many of your operational risks by offloading your critical infrastructure, removing physical storage needs, and enhancing security. Sensitive information is encrypted, and no mission-critical applications are installed on your local systems. You should protect your agency and customer data with cyber insurance coverage and an agency management system that is working to proactively protect your data.

Web-based agency management systems like EZLynx handle much of your data requirements and security needs, offering immediate agency data access across multiple locations, ensuring everything you need to run your business is available on a single platform.

Independent agents that are relying on a self-hosted agency management system are extremely vulnerable. The fact that your business would come to a grinding stop in the event of data loss notwithstanding, is your agency prepared for the legal and financial burdens of notifying your entire database in the event of a breach? The laws vary from state to state, but one thing remains constant: If you have unencrypted sensitive consumer information on your systems that has been compromised, you have a legal responsibility to notify each and every one of those clients and prospects whose personal information is now out in the open. And make no mistake, they won’t be your clients for long after that!

EZLynx Management System, with our pain-free data migration service, has helped agents move their data from these old, costly systems. You can’t risk waiting.

Questions or Comments? Ready to get started?