The Importance of Data Management in the Insurance Industry


Keeping track of where consumer data is stored and how it’s used is of the utmost importance. While businesses deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s an increased risk of cyber threats disrupting companies that are forced to operate solely online.

An app proposed to track the virus was subject to a data breach, and the World Health Organization faced a potential intrusion when hackers attempted to break into employees’ emails — and those are just two out of many recent examples. With more people working remotely using personal devices, your consumers’ data may be more at risk than ever.

For insurance companies, there’s obviously a lot of data to manage and protect. Good insurance database management starts with assessing the applications and solutions your company has in place. According to Riddhiman Das, co-founder and CEO of TripleBlind, a data and algorithm security company and Technology Pavilion partner at PIMA’s June Virtual Leadership Conference, integrating some formidable insurtech into your infrastructure can help bring the volume of information and its security risk into focus.


The Value of Insurtech Data Analytics

You may be wondering, “What is insurtech exactly, and how can my company use it?” Insurtech is any technology that streamlines processes and enhances operations in the insurance industry, and it can be used in many ways. Whether your data is stored locally or in a cloud-hosted application, insurtech is an insurance database management tool that makes it easier to keep track of consumers’ information and remain compliant. 

“Assessing a need for insurtech starts with taking a hard look at your current data setup,” said Greg Storm, co-founder and COO of TripleBlind. Begin by determining whether information is stored on-site or in the cloud. Your data is probably housed on-site if your legacy system was designed before cloud computing became the norm, for example.

After reviewing your customer data management tools, Das said, you want to take stock of who has access to your insurance customer database and where the data lives. This will give you greater control over the data and reveal whether you have duplicated information. Your data is stored based on the applications and solutions you use, but how it’s housed depends on the provider.

For example, many hosted desktop providers outsource to third-party organizations — sometimes without customers’ consent. This is why it’s so important to know who touches your data and where it lives, as it may be subject to different regulations based on location (e.g., New York has different data privacy laws than California). Otherwise, how can you remain compliant?

Solidifying those variables puts your insurtech in a position to keep your data relevant and secure. Storm and Das offered a detailed look at some popular insurtech innovations that can build up your customer data management best practices and help you stay compliant:

  • Homomorphic computing:Homomorphic computing is an advanced way to encrypt customers’ data that doesn’t require decryption to operate on the information.
  • Multiparty computing: This type of insurtech basically scrambles the data so that no one person can see the whole picture of a person’s personal information. It’s especially helpful in maintaining customers’ privacy.
  • Hybrid computing: With this method, customers’ data first run through homomorphic computation followed by multiparty computation. The data is encrypted and then broken up, which makes hacking virtually impossible.
  • Private set intersection: Similar to homomorphic computing, the data is encrypted. Afterward, two parties can compare their data sets to find the intersection. However, the only data revealed to either party will be what intersects.
  • Secure searchable encryption:With this technique, a server will search your encrypted data. It only shows the information relevant to your search, though, so sensitive information will be protected.

The benefits of customer data management using insurtech go without saying. If you show customers that you’re protecting their personal information, then you will build trust and credibility.

Proper data management in insurance is imperative in a time when everything is uncertain. Ease your customers’ minds — and keep your company compliant — by doing all you can to keep their data safe.

Published on July 13, 2020.

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