Those nightmares came to reality for health insurer Anthem, when its security was breached by a "very sophisticated external cyber-attack," giving hackers access to information including names, birthdays, medical IDs, social security numbers, street addresses, e-mail addresses and employment information, including income data.
Anthem said there is no evidence that credit card or medical information was compromised. While damage is still being assessed, the compromised database contained up to 80 million customer records.
Anthem’s case should reinforce the need for advisors and insurers to put in measures to prevent or mitigate the impact of an attack.
And at least one of Canada’s largest life insurers is well aware of the potential damage a cyber-attack could have and is taking steps to prevent it.
“What we’ve done at Foresters and all our business units is we’ve gone to third party companies that will actually test your systems,” said Tony Garcia, the company’s president and CEO. "They’ll attempt to hack in and come back and grade you. While you’re never away from it just being cognizant of it and making sure that your internal processes or in place to mitigate is something that’s top of mind to all of us – not just at the CEO, executive level but for the boards of these organizations.”
Ever since the hacking of Sony advisors and insurers were warned about the potential of a cyber-attack.