Affinion Security Center Launches Medical Identity Theft Benefits and Other Enhancements to Industry-Leading BreachShield Produc

BreachShield Helps Companies Prevent, Detect and Resolve Identity Theft resulting from Data Breaches

NORWALK, Conn., April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Affinion Security Center, a leading provider of identity theft protection services, today announced enhancements to its BreachShield(SM) service, aimed at preventing, detecting and resolving Identity Theft resulting from data breaches for companies at risk and the consumers who trust those organizations.  The new enhancements are designed for all types of organizations that experience a breach and include benefits that help customers at risk for medical identity theft.

According to the Identity Theft Research Center (ITRC), more than 222 million personal records were exposed as the result of a breach in 2009 alone. Breaches can occur in many ways, from hacking and insider theft through accidental exposure of records.

One type of ID theft documented by the ITRC is medical identity theft, which can have grave consequences.  According to the ITRC, roughly a third of victims of medical ID theft responding to the survey had someone else's medical information or medical history on their medical record, increasing the possibility of being treated incorrectly because of incorrect medical records.  Other victims were billed for services provided to an imposter or were denied health or life insurance for unexplained reasons.

"As we saw in 2009, breaches can come in all sizes, from 30 records to 30 million, and are becoming more complex in nature," remarked Tom Rusin, CEO of Affinion Security Center. "By leveraging our 35 years experience in the ID theft sector and the scale of our company, BreachShield(SM) is able to offer a true end-to-end solution to companies, no matter where they might fall in that spectrum.

"Additionally, we anticipate that scrutiny of the medical field, such as increased regulations like HIPAA and the recently passed HITECH act, will increase the amount of breaches that are disclosed by healthcare institutions," continued Rusin. "As a result, medical institutions will need a trusted partner to take care of their customers in the instance of a data breach."

To combat the problem, the newly enhanced BreachShield(SM) includes a wide array of new benefits for companies to offer their consumers in the event of a breach of their personal data, including medical information. The new benefits include the following:  

  • Internet Surveillance – Real-time, web-crawling technology monitors underground chat rooms, websites and blogs where thieves trade and sell stolen Social Security numbers and credit/debit card data. Should any of the monitored information be found on these web portals, members are automatically sent an email alert, enabling them to act quickly and re-secure their compromised information.
  • DataSweep - Comprehensively monitors up to three of each of physical addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers on Internet directories – prime sources of data for spammers and thieves. Every two weeks, DataSweep checks online directories and search engines and lets members know if their monitored personal information is available for public viewing. They will know exactly which sites are displaying their information, and are provided with advice on how to request removal of their information from a particular website when applicable.
  • Fraud Assist Toolbox – A convenient, online tool that helps streamline the identity theft recovery process. Members simply select the type of problem they are facing, and the guide will provide step-by-step instructions for resolving the issue. Members can choose to set fraud alerts, stop pre-approved credit offers, and stop unwanted telemarketing calls.
  • Credit Card Registration - Members can store information from credit, bank, and department store and other retail cards in a single, secure location.  Should these items become lost or stolen, members can cancel these cards and request replacement with one toll-free call.
  • Up to $1,000,000 in Identity Theft Insurance Protection - Insurance includes coverage for unauthorized fund transfers, legal expenses, and the costs of re-filing applications for credit and notarizing affidavits in each case, resulting from the theft of a member's identity.

Also new to BreachShield(SM) is a suite of benefits aimed at medical ID theft:

  • Protected Health Benefit Suite:
    • Medical Information Bureau (MIB) Records Request and Reimbursement – Members can get a copy of their medical records from the Medical Information Bureau (should a record exist), and are reimbursed for any costs associated with obtaining a copy.
    • Request Forms – members are provided with templates to request their medical records from insurance companies and health care providers.
    • Medical Identity Theft Protection Tips - Members are provided with helpful tips to help detect medical identity theft.

Additionally, BreachShield(SM) offers companies, including medical institutions, breach preparation, an incident response action plan, assistance with notification letter printing and mailing, and call center support. In many cases, these services have saved companies more than $1 million in remediating a breach.

For more information about Affinion Security Center solutions, including BreachShield(SM), please visit http://www.affinionsecuritycenter.com.

To follow Affinion Security Center on Twitter, please visit: http://www.twitter.com/ASC_info.

About Affinion Security Center

Affinion Security Center, a division of Norwalk, Connecticut-based Affinion Group, is a global leader in providing identity protection and data security solutions to corporations and individuals. For over 35 years, Affinion Security Center has been powering many of the world's leading personal data protection and breach resolution solutions offered by local, national and multi-national enterprises in the financial, retail and travel industries. The company currently protects over 10 million subscribers with services including IdentitySecure®, PrivacyGuard®, PC SafetyPlus(SM) and Hotline®, and serves enterprise and government agencies with the data breach preparation and response tool, BreachShield. Affinion Security Center is part of the steering committee of the Identity Theft Prevention and Identity Management Standards Panel (IDSP) and is a member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). For more information please visit www.affinionsecuritycenter.com.

SOURCE Affinion Security Center

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