Anthem Inc., the second largest health insurer in America discovered that hackers broke into the carrier’s servers and stole social security numbers and other personal information. This is another massive data breach (recently JPMorgan Chase, Home Depot and Target had breaches) with the potential to expose the information of nearly 80 million Anthem customers and has the potential to be the largest health care related data breach in history.
In a release the company said: “Anthem Blue Cross was the target of a very sophisticated external cyber-attack. These attackers gained unauthorized access to Anthem’s IT system and have obtained personal information from our current and former members such as their names, birthdays, medical ID/social security numbers, street addresses, email addresses and employment information, including income data. Based on what we know now, there is no evidence that credit card or medical information (such as claims, test results or diagnostic codes) were targeted or compromised.”
Unfortunately, embarrassing and costly data breaches are becoming the new normal. The recent increases in the rate and the severity of cyber-attacks on U.S. companies indicate a clear threat to businesses and customer’s data. As businesses come to terms with the increasing threat of hackers, instituting the right policies is critical to harnessing the power of the private sector. More and more businesses are looking for insurance protection for not only the liability exposure but response expense coverage. We suggest you discuss with your agents what they can offer for coverage, as data breach has become the insurance coverage issue for 2015.
SOURCE: Iowa Agent Newsletter, February 16, 2015