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2. Data breaches hit the insurance brokerage sector


Advising companies on how to protect their data from cyberattacks has been one of the fastest growing business lines for insurance brokers in recent years, but in 2021 some of those companies found they needed help themselves.

One of the more nefarious side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the increase in cybercrime. Experts blamed the rise in part on the huge number of people who quickly moved from a corporate office to a home office — or kitchen table — as lockdowns were enforced. Outside of a controlled environment, information technology staff could not protect company systems as effectively as before the pandemic.

Insurers and brokers were among those companies targeted by hackers, and a story about an April data breach at Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. was the second most read risk management-related story on Business Insurance’s website in 2021.

Marsh McLennan said the breach affected a limited set of its data and that it did not disrupt its operations. It offered credit monitoring, identity theft detection, resolution services and up to $1 million in identity theft insurance coverage to those affected.

Marsh McLennan was not the only broker hit in 2021. In August, Ryan Specialty Group Holdings Inc. revealed that it, too, had been the subject of a cyberattack in April. The wholesaler said it had taken steps to review the accounts affected and that it was providing credit monitoring and identity protection services to people who were affected.

No. 3 most read story