January 27, 2015 was not a good day for the health insurance company Anthem. That morning a computer system administrator discovered that someone was using his security credentials to log into the company system. Over 80 million people had their names, social security numbers, and other sensitive information stolen in the breach. Not a good day, indeed.
The fascinating thing is that the breach was not caused by an IT system failure, but human error. Investigators believe that the hackers compromised the credentials of five different tech workers through an email “phishing” scheme that tricked employees into revealing passwords or downloading malicious software.
And Anthem is not alone. Hackers have stolen or compromised the personal or credit card information of millions of customers from many different companies, including Home Depot, Target, JPMorgan Chase, and Sony. Experts believe that the majority of data breaches like these are caused by human error.
So the lesson here is clear: people matter as much as, if not more than, technology when it comes to current cybersecurity threats. Which adds a new dimension and importance to keeping employees engaged and well-trained.
Cyber security is a critical issue for any company seeking to protect customer privacy, especially in the insurance industry. Which is why our first episode of the Distinguished Conversations audio cast is focused on the subject.
Distinguished Conversations is a series of interviews and conversations with leading thinkers who shape our perspectives on risk and insurance. In this episode, innovation advisor Scott Wayne discusses cyber hacking with Gabriella Coleman, the Wolfe Chair in Scientific and Technological Literacy at McGill University. Trained as an anthropologist, her research explores the intersection of the cultures of hacking and politics, with a focus on the digital protest group Anonymous.
Tune in now to learn more!
Protect yourself from current cybersecurity threats with Distinguished’s Cyber Liability program.