Like most other industries, mobile has been embraced by the insurance industry both for their customers and within their own company walls. Mobile devices are allowing employees to become more agile and flexible in the way they work. However, for all its benefits it has also bought in new challenges, such as new kinds of risks and unexpected costs.

To understand more about mobility in the average insurance company, Wandera researchers took data from more than 10,000 iOS, Android and Windows 10 Mobile devices across top insurance industries in North America and Europe to surface insights that reveal the current state of mobility inside the typical insurance firm. This data was combined with the 2018 Mobile Maturity Matrix, a survey of mobility and security leaders, conducted in association with VMware and IDG, to give a holistic view of the mobility best practice in the insurance sector.

Where is the insurance industry now?

The costs associated with mobility – the data explosion

The amount of mobile data usage consumed surpassed desktop in 2016 and has been steadily above it since then. This data explosion has led to ever increasing costs for insurance companies who regularly issue corporate-owned mobile devices to their employees. In fact, new research shows a 93% growth in annual data used per device.

Security within the insurance industry

Security has long been a problem for the insurance industry. The vast amounts of sensitive and personal data they store has always put them high up on the target list for attackers. From malware such as WannaCry, RedDrop, and SLocker to the alarming prevalence of mobile phishing attacks and data leaks, the ways in which attackers are targeting companies are increasing in both variety and sophistication. When it comes to the insurance industry, breaches not only cause financial damage in terms of fines and costs of litigation action but also irrevocable reputational damage.

As insurers have been wise to the threat of hackers for years, most have a robust security system in place, particularly when it comes to core IT systems. Mobile however, is often left unguarded and unprotected with little to no security and management around it.

Mobile threats are on the rise. Research from Gartner shows the prevalence of mobile malware is doubling each year. The same is true for phishing attacks which are becoming commonplace on mobile devices. More alarmingly research from IBM shows users a 3x more vulnerable to phishing on mobile than desktop.

Within insurances firm data shows:

  • 36.2% of devices will suffer a phishing attack each year
  • 2.4% of devices will download malware each year

The maturity of mobility in the insurance industry

The constant threat of security breaches and the general willingness to embrace new digital channels to effectively compete in the market has meant that overall, the industry is performing well in terms of maturity compared to the global average.

Where insurers struggle is in key areas like data protection and preventing mobile threats where the global average is significantly higher. The data accessed via work-assigned mobile devices by the typical insurance worker is particularly sensitive, meaning a weak mobile security strategy could be a major problem for many of those operating in the sector.

What now?

It’s clear that the insurance industry can’t take any chances when it comes to security, the constant threat of attack is only going to exacerbate as the amount of data rises and the value of it increases. Insurers need to be vigilant and proactive when it comes to mobility to make sure it ceases to be their weak link.

Wandera provides mobile threat defense, data policy and secure access solutions to some of the world’s leading insurance companies. It offers full visibility and control over your mobile data allowing you to prevent against phishing attempts, network attacks and malware downloads before they reach the device.