Insurance brokers proactive in fight against cyberattacks

In the wake of the Anthem security breach, which compromised personal information of roughly 80 million policy holders, past and present, as well as employees, including President and CEO Joseph Swedish, insurance brokers have been working to answer questions from members. 

Despite the widespread hack, broker information was not affected, according to Employee Benefit Adviser. Cindy Jones, vice president of operations and marketing for Los Angeles-based Dickerson Employee Benefits, said Anthem has been "a very good partner to the brokerage community."

In a statement released shortly after the attack, Swedish said, "Anthem will individually notify current and former members whose information has been accessed. We will provide credit monitoring and identity protection services free of charge so that those who have been affected can have peace of mind."

In addition to credit monitoring and identity protection, Anthem and brokers are warning customers of phishing campaigns, where scammers seek additional information by posing as Anthem representatives, BenefitsPro reported.

Cybersecurity experts are weary that the effects of the breach could be felt for years to come, and that the recovery will be costly, FierceHealthPayer: AntiFraud reported.

Adding to the costs are two lawsuits, filed in the days after the attack. A complaint, filed on behalf of California plaintiff Susan Morris, said "it appears that Anthem's security system did not involve encrypting Social Security numbers and birthdates--two of the most valuable pieces of information a thief can have," according to Insurance Business America.

Susan Rider, national media chair for the National Association of Health Underwriters, said a focus on data security is more important now than ever. "Brokers are going to have to make sure that their agencies have a form of secure email, that their databases have security," she told BenefitsPro.

To learn more:
- here's the Employee Benefit Adviser story
- read the BenefitsPro article
- read Joseph Swedish's statement
- check out the Insurance Business America article