Family-Owned Insurance and Risk Management Firm Protects its Clients, Culture, and Reputation with Haven from Corvid Cyberdefense
Posted on: November 26, 2019 By: Sage Tourigny
Wade Associates is an out-of-the-box insurance and risk management firm that inspires people to think differently about risk. They have three offices in the Carolinas and represent over 50 carriers.
When a client signs on with Wade Associates, they’re not just getting an insurance agent, though. They’re getting a partner that takes a holistic approach to managing risk. That’s because the professionals at Wade Associates don’t just sell insurance. Through their Ideal Client Transformation (ICT) process, they help each company they work with identify and address vulnerabilities. Transferring the risk via insurance is just one solution they might suggest. It could be that accepting, avoiding, or mitigating that risk through an internal process change is a better option.
“Our job is to uncover potential risks our customers didn’t know they had and show ways to mitigate them,” explains Jim Roberts, President of Wade Associates. “Sometimes placing insurance is the obvious solution. Mitigating risk is another option. If our client can’t avoid the risky exposure, we help them look for ways to perform their services in a different manner. Helping them incorporate specific policies and procedures, handbooks, additional training and higher deductibles
are a few examples. ”By going through the ICT, Wade Associates’ customers don’t just have far fewer vulnerabilities. They also become much more attractive to insurance carriers, who have a lot of flexibility in how they offer coverage. The results for their clients are more favorable terms and more control over their insurance program.
As an insurance agent, Wade Associates has access to sensitive information about their clients like social security numbers and financial statements. Plus, their business and reputation are built on helping people avoid and mitigate risk.
The effects of a successful cyberattack would be particularly devastating. “We’d first have to bring in a forensic team to find out what happened,” Jim says. “Then we’d have to back up what we lost and possibly pay fines. The worst, though, would be notifying the state Attorney General and every customer we’ve ever had to tell them we had a breach. It’s tough to come back from that.”
Protecting client data was paramount, so Wade Associates followed their network managed service provider’s (MSP) security suggestions.
But as a provider of cybersecurity insurance themselves, they knew that a standard firewall and antivirus software weren’t enough.
Additionally, Wade Associates is a family business. They’ve worked hard to cultivate a supportive culture where their employees are given the freedom to manage their personal lives.
“As a working mother, I understand the need to email school, order necessities online, and deal with other things life throws at you,” says Carolyn Roberts, Jim’s wife and Vice President at Wade Associates. “I don’t want to have to lock down our internet to a point where our employees can’t do those things.” As such, any cybersecurity solution would need to provide complete, managed protection for Wade Associates while still offering some flexibility in internet access for their employees.
With these specific needs in mind, Carolyn began a critical review of their cybersecurity options. Corvid Cyberdefense’s HavenTM was the only solution that addressed each requirement.
Haven is Corvid Cyberdefense’s end-to-end prevention, detection, and response cybersecurity solution for business. It includes all the necessary security controls, management, and 24/7/365 security operations center monitoring to protect against, and react to, cyberattacks. Network connectivity, email communications, and endpoints like laptops and desktops are all protected.
For Jim, it was the proactive, machine learning-based endpoint security of Haven that stood out. Since every virus has a core DNA, Haven quickly recognizes a threat and adapts to stop it, even if the threat has evolved on its surface.
Legacy security platforms rely on an initial victim to identify new threats. Those software providers then create a signature or software patch which requires frequent signature updates or requires the user to distribute a software update for each endpoint agent. Unfortunately, this means a network may be exposed for weeks before the mitigating update is deployed. “I love that Haven is constantly updated,” Jim says. “We don’t have to do anything but turn on our computers.” In addition, Haven provides Wade Associates with complete
email and network security, vulnerability scanning, a 24/7/365 operations center, and employee awareness training. “Corvid Cyberdefense’s operations team is so responsive,” Carolyn says. “When we go to them for something, they never make you feel dumb or talk down to you.”
Wade Associates’ employees weren’t burdened with a difficult startup process. “Corvid sent out an email telling us to go to the website and set up each user. It took two minutes to install,” Carolyn explains.
Jim immediately noticed the volume of malicious emails blocked by Haven. Wade Associates’ email provider had previously left them exposed. “Now, when a potentially harmful email gets through, Haven stops it. The end,” he says. Plus, Haven’s email security protocols nearly eliminate spam emails, making their inboxes more manageable.
For Carolyn, the results were more personal. “I love the company culture we have here. The last thing I want to say to an employee — a working parent — is, ‘you can’t go to that website to order your child’s uniform.’ Haven gives me the peace of mind that we are keeping our clients safe without changing our culture.”
Each week, Wade Associates receives a detailed report of website traffic as well as any malicious threats that were stopped by Haven. They also have access to a live dashboard, giving them real-time data on the health and activity of their network.“I don’t know what we’d do without Corvid Cyberdefense,” Jim says. “I’m no less vulnerable than a large business, but I can’t afford to bring in a full time IT security person to buy and manage all the technology. Corvid fills that role and is affordable for a business our size.”
“Cyber liability insurance is something we sell,” he continues. “And we have it for ourselves. But that just provides some protection against the financial burden of a breach. We needed to take the mitigation step to preventing a breach from ever happening. And Corvid Cyberdefense was the best way we could do it.”