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February 27, 2015

Three Lessons IT Personnel Can Learn from Anthem's Recent Hack

If you thought 2014 was as bad as it could get as far as cyberattacks are concerned, think again. Anthem Health Insurance is the latest victim of a high-profile cyberattack, which will go down in history as one of the nation's largest healthcare breaches to date.

Hackers recently executed an attack to gain unauthorized access to Anthem’s network and obtained sensitive information related to consumers covered by Anthem or other independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans that work with Anthem. 

The stolen information, which included member names, birthdays, Social Security numbers, addresses and employment data, could be used to potentially steal individual identities, open new credit lines and steal tax refunds.

This breach should therefore be a wakeup call for businesses to step up their security measures. Here are three simple lessons IT personnel can learn from the Anthem hack:

Stay in compliance: Whether you’re in the healthcare or retail industry, there are certain rules and regulations you must follow to protect customer’s sensitive data. In the healthcare industry, for example, companies like Anthem must comply with HIPAA, a standard put in place to protect patient privacy. It’s important that you fully understand and, more importantly, comply with such regulations.

Educate all departments:  Cybersecurity is not just your IT department’s responsibility; it belongs to your whole staff. By making all departments— from human resources to sales—aware of the important roles they play in security, you can reduce human error, which is often the primary cause of data security breaches.

Encrypt and back up data: Encryption is an effective security tool that you can use to protect your private data. If a key member of your team, for example, loses his or her laptop that contains sensitive data, whoever tries to access the data won’t be able to read it if it’s encrypted. Another important security step is data backup, which ensures you can recover data when needed.

If you’re looking to beef up security, you might want to consider contracting the help of an experience managed service provider like Apex Technology Services. To learn more about how Apex can help you fight against cyberattacks, click here.

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