Learning from the Anthem Security Breach

Learning from the Anthem Security Breach image

The Anthem security breach caught much of the public unaware in February of this year when eighty-million customers suddenly became at risk for having their personal information stolen. How? Anthem is the second-largest health insurance company in the nation, in part because of an upstanding record for customer service and the unwavering protection of its customers’ private data. Among those affected in the Anthem security breach was the company’s own CEO, Joseph Swedish.

The company had not been lax in their security protocols but rather had been the victim of a “very sophisticated, external cyber attack,” according to Swedish. The hackers involved were able to infiltrate one of the nation’s premiere security databases and retrieve information such as names, birthdays, addresses, unemployment information, and social security numbers. Due to the sheer number of individuals put at risk, the Anthem security breach was dubbed the nation’s largest healthcare breach to date.

Because no medical information was stolen, the breach did not fall under HIPAA rules. And no credit card information was obtained. The attack was targeted to obtain identities because for most hackers that information is more valuable than health history.

In an attempt to further secure data following the Anthem security breach, a computer security firm called vArmour was hired to assess and improve the current technology. But as soon as technology is improved upon, there are new ways to hack, manipulate, or destroy computer information. It’s important to recognize this constant revolution. Each medical office should make it a regular practice to update security software and retrain staff in proper data security measures.

“The Anthem security breach is another in a long line of breaches that continue to have a deep and disheartening effect on consumer behavior and the smooth flow of commerce both here at home and worldwide,” – Rep. Bennie Thompson, a ranking member of the Committee on Homeland Security.

Breaches like this not only affect those whose information was stolen but can result in HIPAA violations leading to severe fines if the company is determined to be at fault through negligence or otherwise. Secure your medical office in all ways, including the use of a trusted third party medical biller like Billing Advantage. From practice management consulting to data entry and claims follow-up, you can be assured that your healthcare facility’s integrity is being maintained. Take a look at our standard services today!

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