Insurance companies neglect basic email security

Only 3.54% of of insurance companies have correctly implemented basic phishing and spoofing protection, according to EasyDMARC.

DMARC standard adoption

DMARC standard adoption

Insurers operate using highly sensitive, private information that they’ve been trusted by clients and customers to protect.

They function in a highly regulated industry, meaning it is even more important that they have access to resources that will protect them and their customers, while remaining compliant with changing security regulations.

The survey reviewed the deployment of the Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting and Conformance (DMARC) standard among the domains of insurance companies.

First published in 2012, the DMARC standard enables the automatic flagging and removal of receiving emails that are impersonating senders’ domains, which is a crucial way to prevent outbound phishing and spoofing attempts.

EasyDMARC’s research found that only 22% of the reviewed domains had implemented the decade-old DMARC standard. Of those 2694 institutions, only 699 (26%) had implemented a ‘reject’ policy that automatically rejects emails imitating a legitimate domain.

Email domain impersonation

More organizations that deployed DMARC had configured it to do nothing about impersonating emails, with 1401 (52%) domains having no policy. 594 (22%) had configured DMARC to send impersonating emails into quarantine.

“Impersonating email domains is one of the most effective ways cybercriminals bypass organizational cyber defenses through phishing, spoofing, and ransomware attacks. The numbers don’t lie; unfortunately, too many insurance organizations are ignoring essential tools that will effectively prevent these present and persistent dangers,” said Gerasim Hovhannisyan, EasyDMARC CEO.

“The need for organizations to protect themselves from cyber threats is almost unanimously accepted. The absence of domain authentication renders these organizations susceptible to breaches of highly sensitive and potentially costly data. Without the adoption of DMARC standard or similarly effective policies, the sector will continue to see an increase in cyber events and subsequent disruptions and losses,” concluded Hovhannisyan.

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