The bigger the company, the more responsibility falls on the decision makers to prevent hackers from gaining access to confidential data. In the healthcare industry, large corporations and medical entities like hospitals and insurance companies have immense amounts of confidential data about patients and clients. This makes for a juicy ransomware scandal. Last month Anthem, a major corporation that offers network-based managed care plans to large and small employer, individual, Medicaid and Medicare markets, found themselves cleaning up a mess for the third time in the last 4 years.
One of the insurer’s health care consulting firms realized that one of its employees was involved in an identity theft. On June 14, Anthem was notified by LaunchPoint Ventures, the consulting firm, that 2 months prior they had an employee victimized by identity theft, a story that would develop as more information was presented. They would later find out that this person had emailed a file with information about Anthem companies’ members to his personal email address a year prior. When it was all said and done, over 18,500 Medicare members’ Social Security and Medicare identification data may have been exposed. This was clearly a drastic occurrence, but minuscule in comparison to 2 past events.
Not The First
Anthem is no stranger to network security breaches. Back in 2013, due to online network security failures, the company exposed protected health insurance data of over 600,000 people. Then, in 2015, hackers gained access to almost 80million people’s personal information! The cost of a network security breach like these? 1.7 million for the 2013 breach, and a whopping $115 million settlement to resolve a class action lawsuit following the major breach in 2015. That is the largest settlement over data breach in history.
The company’s CEO, Joe Swedish had this to say in the open letter posted on the website dedicated to informing the 80 million victims of the hack.
I want to personally apologize to each of you for what has happened, as I know you expect us to protect your information. We will continue to do everything in our power to make our systems and security processes better and more secure, and hope that we can earn back your trust and confidence in Anthem.
What This Means
The most recent example of a network security breach could have been avoided. Following the exposure of data, each victimized individual will receive free credit monitoring and identity theft restoration for two years. (Same thing done following 2015 hack) That alone costs quite a bit of money, not to mention the potential lawsuits. The other two, offer similar, but different examples of how data can be breached, through hackers rather than by fault of an employee. All are stark examples of the necessities of having a team that can provide network security, as well as be in a position to recover after a disaster like a major hack.
Superior IT Innovations, or SITI, is dedicated to providing remarkable IT services for all of our clients. We have worked to prevent data breaches, as well as been called in to clean up a mess after a major ransomware attack. We have also provided insight to victims of ransomware, to have them choose to hire internal help to cleanup the mess. This typically takes longer, and ends with more money being shelled out in the long run. We have worked with major corporations all over the United States for network security and disaster recovery, and if you know of someone who could use some help, has a question, or just wants to upgrade their IT team, just give us a call. We aren’t looking to put anyone out of a job, or critisize what your internal IT department does, we simply augment what you already do, and help to put our best practices into your plan.