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Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
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Cyber-Security In Insurance: 7 Things To Know

Insurers need to boost their security knowledge amidst the growing risk of cyberattacks.
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(Image: geralt via Pixabay)

(Image: geralt via Pixabay)

Although Sony seemed to dominate the cyber-security headlines of 2014, it was just one of many corporations infiltrated by an increasingly sophisticated and driven pool of hackers. J.P. Morgan Chase, Home Depot, and Target also top the list of businesses struggling with data breaches.

The most recent major cyberattack against Anthem Healthcare shook the insurance industry. In a rare show of honesty, the insurer began alerting customers and the media to the potential of a data break just eight days after it first noted suspicious activity on Jan. 27, 2015. 

Immediately upon discovering it had been attacked, Anthem jumped to address the security vulnerability, contacted the FBI, and hired leading cyber-security firm Mandiant to evaluate its systems, said president and CEO Joseph Swedish in a statement.

Noting the importance of protecting financial institutions, New York's Department of Financial Services responded to the Anthem breach by announcing its intent to integrate regular assessments of cyber-security preparedness at insurance companies as part of its examination process. It will also enforce "enhanced regulations" on insurers based in New York.

[Already hacked? The 5 Stages of Data Breach Grief]

"Recent cyber security breaches should serve as a stern wake up call for insurers and other financial institutions to strengthen their cyber defenses," said Benjamin M. Lawsky, New York State's superintendent of financial services, in a statement. He continued, "Regulators and private sector companies must both redouble their efforts and move aggressively to help safeguard this consumer data."

Most people might expect that larger insurers, given the sensitive customer information they handle, would boast robust cyber-security programs. This is not necessarily true.

As part of its investigation, the Department found that 95% of insurers already think they have sufficient staff for information security, and just 14% of CEOs receive monthly briefings on data security. Anthem, the nation's second-largest health insurer, had not even encrypted its database containing nonmedical data. It claims that the HIPAA did not require it to do so.

While experts believe that Anthem was exclusively targeted in its attack, there is no doubt that all financial institutions are at risk. Here are eight things to know as the industry enters a year of increasingly heightened cyber-vulnerability.

Kelly is an associate editor for InformationWeek. She most recently reported on financial tech for Insurance & Technology, before which she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. When she's not catching up on the latest in tech, Kelly enjoys ... View Full Bio

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mikeroch
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mikeroch,
User Rank: Apprentice
2/20/2017 | 10:49:43 PM
inside the 192.168.1.1 jio
Cyber sec is a must to implement for all the security in 2017.
imgsquotes1
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imgsquotes1,
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12/28/2016 | 12:48:00 PM
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.osiris
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.osiris,
User Rank: Apprentice
12/6/2016 | 12:59:19 AM
Re: .osiris-virus files
8th thing to know - don't run suspicious attached files from your daily emails, cause they can contain viruses.
Benefiter
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Benefiter,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/28/2016 | 11:03:51 AM
2 przykazania miłości modlitwa do św Rity
I am very glad to join this comunity and enjoy your article!
Benefiter
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Benefiter,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/3/2016 | 8:42:15 AM
praca w niemczech nasze mediayuweg
It's actually a cool and useful piece of information. I am glad that you shared this helpful information with us.
umutarcn
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umutarcn,
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8/23/2016 | 8:15:49 PM

Images Quotes

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Happy Birthday


Thank you great article.
syed.zubair
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syed.zubair,
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4/26/2016 | 6:31:45 PM
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arnab123E
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arnab123E,
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9/7/2015 | 2:11:50 PM
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suhasuseless
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suhasuseless,
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7/22/2015 | 11:42:33 AM
good post
good info.
EmilyAmber
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EmilyAmber,
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2/26/2015 | 9:52:29 AM
Advantages of cyber security
Good to know the benefits of  cyber security insurance, It's important for all organizations to frequently conduct  data security maintenance to prevent from external attacks.I work for McGladrey ,we have an infograph to guide readers .  bit.ly/mcgldrydatabreach
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