Anthem Struck by Yet Another Data Breach in a Year of Record Setting Numbers
The medical sector is often hard hit by data breaches, hacking events, and tactics like ransomware attacks, largely because they work with vast amounts of highly sensitive information.
Coupled with the belief that medical facilities may be willing to pay a hacker’s ransom in order to avoid to penalties for exposing patient data, it’s no wonder that it feels as if there’s a constant target on hospitals’ computers.
Anthem, which suffered a large-scale data breach several years ago, has now been attacked again, this time by a third-party vendor’s employee. Launchpoint, an Indiana-based company that performs insurance coordination for Anthem, became aware of the employee’s possible involvement in identity theft-related activities in mid-April. The employee was investigated by police for unrelated issues and is currently incarcerated.
That might be small comfort to some, but for the nearly twenty thousand Medicare recipients whose personal data was stolen through Anthem’s connection with this company, this means the work of protecting their identities is just beginning. The fact that the stolen information belonged to Medicare recipients also speaks to the potential for identity theft, as Medicare numbers are still the same as the cardholder’s Social Security number. By accessing their account numbers, the thief was able to gain access to their SSNs.
LaunchPoint, is providing no-cost credit monitoring to the 18,580 victims of this data breach. At this time, the company does not have any proof that the stolen information has been used, though. For its part, Anthem only settled in June of this year on the 2015 breach that compromised the personal information of more than 70 million customers, costing the company $115 million in the settlement.
Situations like this one serve to show that anyone can be the victim of a data breach, and therefore, it’s important that all consumers stay on top of their identity. If you receive a data breach notification letter—whether in this event or any other data breach—it’s important to follow the instructions in the letter and take advantage of any credit monitoring services that are offered as a result.