Insurance cos to be ‘good stewards’ of data

insurance data

Image Courtesy: Freeimages.com/ Leszek Soltys

Recently, a number of insurance companies’ data in the US has been hacked, exposing as many as 90 million customer records. The companies that announced security breaches are Anthem, Premera and Carefirst, says an article on The Des Moines Register.

Insurance companies are becoming one-stop shop for data thieves as it includes medical, financial and personal information. Data and security will be the center stage as hundreds of insurance professionals meet at Des Moines in Iowa for the second annual Global Insurance Symposium which kicks off on May 26, 2015.

Iowa Insurance Commissioner Nick Gerhart said that there is a security breach to read about every time he opens a newspaper. Gerhart and the organizers said that this year’s themes will be cyber security, innovation and big data. “Those are all three huge issues that are driving the industry right now,” said Jay Byers, CEO of The Greater Des Moines Partnership.

Increasing the troubles of the insurance industry is that cyber attacks are becoming more sophisticated. According to experts, hackers are now focusing less on an individual and his personal information and more on business. Hacks on retailers and other companies can bring out a lot of information at one go.

Hacking has become more organized, strategic and patient. “Ten or 20 years ago there were lone-wolf hackers that were mostly grandstanding … now it’s a really specialized industry with supply chains,” said Doug Jones, an associate professor of computer science at the University of Iowa. This would mean that a number of hackers are sniffing the back doors of many insurance companies.

Insurance experts said that they need the information to provide the right insurance product to a customer. However, insurance companies also have to become good stewards of the information.

Read the full story here.

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