Why The Anthem Health Data Breach Confirms the Need for Better Data Protection

In January of 2014, an administrator at health insurer, Anthem noticed a very large and unusual query running on their network. Although it appeared as though a colleague was responsible for this query, further investigation revealed it was coming from elsewhere.

Within minutes of noticing this query, Anthem was on full alert. Apparently, the hackers in question used a phishing email to lure an employee to give up their credentials, unwarranted. Using these credentials, the hackers were able to obtain social security numbers and birth dates of more than 78 million people in the database – all stemming back to 2004 records.

The hack alone has cost Anthem near $230 million in legal and consultant fees. Not to mention, they are now at fault for not having the right protections in place to minimize the threat of cyber-attacks and had ignored alerts which could end up costing them even more in the long-run.

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