Cyber security has become a greater risk to businesses than terrorism says leading US communications expert, following a tumultuous week of data attacks in the US.
Insurance companies are finding it increasingly hard to hide from cyber criminals after yet another large data breach has left tens of millions of US healthcare insurance customers holding their breath.
Now considered one of the largest data breaches in US history, Anthem Inc revealed last week that their database containing up to 80 million past and present customers was hacked, although no financial or medical information was stolen.
On top of the initial breach, Anthem customers were warned they are now targets of fraudsters and hackers in phishing scams, baiting worried Anthem members to click on false emails.
Last year, an Australian travel insurance company was breached in a similar attack.
US communications expert Bob Jensen, who is currently touring Australia lecturing risk managers on behalf of RMIA, says cyber security is essential for businesses who wish to keep consumer confidence.
He says fewer than one in 10 businesses had adequate cyber security plans and most underestimate the risks, with the reputational damage capable of forcing organisations out of business.
“Despite any new laws that might give organisations some immunity from prosecution, a loss of public confidence can have a massive impact on an organisation’s future,” he says.
In a letter to customers, CEO Joseph Swedish says the breach was highly sophisticated but they are working tirelessly to fix the attack.
"Anthem's own associates' personal information -- including my own -- was accessed during this security breach. We join you in your concern and frustration, and I assure you that we are working around the clock to do everything we can to further secure your data,” Swedish says.