Cloud Computing

According to At-Bay, Inc., more than one in four (31%) firms reported being unable to retrieve their data following a ransomware attack, even though 92% of organizations had backed up their data, whether it was on-site, offsite, or in the cloud.

In comparison to companies who successfully restore data, the average claims cost for corporations that fail to do so is $190,000.

The insurance company and surplus lines broker claim that a successful recovery of data after a ransomware attack can save a cyber incident’s total cost by up to 41 percent. Businesses that recover their data successfully are three times less likely to comply with a ransom demand.

Not many security professionals find data backups and the numerous solutions on the market particularly exciting. It’s important to note, though, that some backup plans may end up being far more successful than others. Making the correct decision can decrease the risk that a company will have to pay a ransom by up to three times.

After reviewing its claims data, At-Bay concluded that the cloud backup architecture provided the best chance for effective data restoration. Eighty percent of businesses that used cloud backups recovered.

The remarkable success rate of cloud technology

With an 80% effective recovery rate, cloud backup architecture outperforms offshore backup by a factor of 1.5. Moreover, ransomware was paid 2.5 times more frequently by those using offsite backups than by those using cloud backups.

Optimal approaches to develop an effective data backup strategy

The four suggestions that follow can improve any backup plan and help a company recover from a cyberattack.

1. Understand the interconnectedness of systems

It is not sufficient to just copy data elements and store them in one or two repositories; instead, it is essential to catalog and classify the ways in which the system functions. Data that has been carelessly dumped can cause the restoration process to lag while IT personnel try to figure out which apps use the data.

2. Implement robust password security measures

Organizations must take extra precautions to secure passwords and other login credentials for backup accounts since hackers may target these accounts. In order to achieve this, it is advised to create a different Active Directory account with a stronger password.

3. Acquire the required bandwidth

A quick internet connection is essential while recovering from the cloud. The repair process of a business might be severely hampered by slow speeds. It is crucial to keep in mind that data can only go so fast over Ethernet, and moving terabytes of data can take days or even weeks.

4. Consistently verify the integrity of backups

Verify the backup’s functionality and file completeness by running restoration tests.

You have heard the terms digital transformation and cloud computing many times in the past decade, but now it has come to the insurance sector. Digital technologies have had a major effect on just about every industry from retail and manufacturing to healthcare and hospitality. The insurance industry is often slower to jump on any new trends. Insurance providers are set in tradition and don’t usually see much need to change. Digital transformation and blockchain strategies are not usually part of insurance technology. 

Insurance Companies and the Customer Experience

Although many aspects of the insurance industry have been digitized for many years, much of the work was still done with pen and paper, especially the underwriting of insurance policies. This has changed. To keep up with the demands of their clients and improve the customer experience, nearly all of their operations are now handled by automation and artificial intelligence. Any business, including startups wanting to stay competitive in the twenty-first century, must be willing and able to meet with new and current customers where and when the client chooses, in real-time. Understanding customer behavior is more important than ever.

The driving force behind the digital transformation of the insurance industry is artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, data analytics, machine learning, mobile access, live chat, and automation. This has allowed the insurance business to step into the modern world and compete effectively.

How Insurance Companies are Changing

Just as with other industries, there are a vast number of ways of how digital transformation has changed the insurance industry. For example, operations are streamlined, interactions with customers are in real-time over the internet through platforms such as Zoom, customer needs are instantly addressed over live chat, the claims process is electronic and automatic, financial services are more efficient, insurance products are easier to access and brokers are able to aggregate client information for a smoother, more accurate outcome. However, the most profound impact digital transformation has had on the insurance market can be summed up in four categories: Efficiency, Personalization, Scalability, and Agility.

Efficiency of Automation

The most obvious benefit of going digital is efficiency. There is no doubt machines can work faster and more accurately than humans. Primarily controlled by artificial intelligence and automation, and other technologies such as the Internet of Things, advanced analytics, and machine learning, nearly every process in the insurance industry has been optimized for speed and to better meet customer expectations.

Policyholders benefit from a faster claims process through mobile apps and underwriting takes much less time due to automation, getting insurance policies out to clients quicker. Digital transformation also greatly improves customer service because clients can access live chat and digital assistants around the clock – anytime they need help, help is available.


Customers don’t want to be just a number on their insurance policy. They expect an exceptional customer experience and personalized attention. Competition is fierce. If you can’t fulfill the needs of your clients, someone else will gladly take your place. Your customers want to know that their needs are being met and that you care about them.

Insurance is a very personal thing and that’s why it has been handled person-to-person for all these years. However, you can have digital transformation without losing that personal touch.

You have the latest technology at your fingertips to provide the best of everything your clients want – personalized service, security, and protection. Plus, the convenience of checking the status of their insurance policy and claims online.


Digital transformation helps the insurance industry scale easier. Although much of the work was always done in the field, agents needed office space and the broker needed a home base of operations. Most agents now work from home, which saves you a lot of money in overhead. You can scale your business without adding extra office space or buying expensive technology. Cloud computing gives all of your agents instant access to everything they need to meet the client’s needs and access to IoT to make life easier.

Customer benefits include self-service dashboards, mobile apps, and wearables so they can easily access their insurance policies anytime they like.


Transforming to a digital world has helped insurers become more agile. Transporting data is instant. With just a few clicks an agent can complete a client application form and send it securely to the underwriting team. As the client base grows, there is no need for extra space or equipment. Your company is agile enough to grow with the times.

These new technologies, including digital transformation for insurance, are certain to evolve and you can be sure that with a solid technological foundation, your business will be able to grow right along with it without a hitch.

Why Digital Transformation for Insurance Matters

The whole world has embraced digital transformation and it is about time that the insurance industry has joined in, as well. APIs are critical for digital transformation for insurance. In addition to their architectural part in integrating apps, APIs and technological advancements empower you to implement new business strategies, agile and scalable business changes, unparalleled ecosystem connectivity, and superior customer relations.

The original, unedited version of this article was first published on

The growth of cloud computing is grounded in good reason.

Long before the dawn of the digital age, the poet Wordsworth “wandered lonely as a cloud,” although he probably wasn’t pondering the problem of secure computing.

These days, the cloud is no longer so lonely. With exabytes of information in play for banks, government agencies, and insurers, the challenge of finding enough computing power and the expense of internal archiving—not to mention risks from hacking—seem to be looming larger.

For many, the solution is a move to secure data centers off premises, hiring vendors to establish firewalls that keep information safe and yet instantly accessible. Those data centers are now referred to collectively as “the cloud.”

But why would any institution concerned about security and privacy send data seemingly into the unknown? Although it first looks counterintuitive, the growing migration to cloud computing is based on some remarkably grounded reasons that involve cost, privacy, and potential for competitive advantage.

In terms of safety, users are able to store data in lockboxes known as virtual private clouds. These are not unlike safety deposit boxes held within a bank vault. Essentially, they can be opened only by recognized depositors. An intruder would first have to break through a cloud’s firewall before approaching an encrypted virtual private cloud.

And for industries subject to regulations about offshoring data—as governed in countries of the European Union—it’s even possible to anchor data to a specific geographic location. Some American companies continue to specify their information remains in the United States, for example.


Then there’s the money issue. Questions of cost come down to the overhead involved in any given business having to establish and maintain its own data centers, servers, and expert staff. Such investments tend to be substantial and may explain studies suggesting markedly stronger rates of cloud adoption by businesses in 2016—rates as high as 95%, according to a survey by RightScale, which found that adopters tend to go even “cloudier” after making the initial leap. The same survey reported that companies choosing to begin cloud computing wind up tapping into six different clouds, on average.

Just as in real estate, who wants to pay for hardware and infrastructure when terms may be more attractive to lease?

Less understood has been the notion of “agility” within the cloud—another way of describing a possible first-mover advantage. In choosing an appropriate cloud provider, a company is often able to transfer data instantly and seamlessly between distinct information technology systems and geographic locations.

Whether entering a new or global market or meeting long-standing needs, companies that embrace agility can bring speed and vast computing power to bear on complex problems—including cloud-based analytic tools that carry potential to penetrate data and bring insights that better inform our decisions. In the world of insurance, for example, models for underwriting property might benefit from instant access to information about flood, fire, or weather from a distant location.

There may be situations for which cloud usage looks less sensible, and some onlookers remain to be convinced. But in the main, it turns out there’s almost nothing lonely about the cloud. Cloud computing is proving to be a safe and cost-efficient solution for making use of an ever-increascloud-based our vital data.

Best’s Review columnist Scott G. Stephenson is chief executive officer of Verisk Analytics. He can be reached at [email protected].