Bisnar | Chase Consumer Attorneys Caution Those Affected by Anthem Security Breach

Anthem Inc., one of the nation's largest healthcare networks, announced a massive security breach this month, which they said, would affect 80 million current and former customers. Bisnar | Chase consumer attorneys say those affected could be facing serious identity theft risks in the long term.
 
Anthem Inc.
Anthem Inc.
NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Feb. 17, 2015 - PRLog -- Nearly 80 million consumers have been affected by the massive security breach at Anthem Inc., one of the nation's largest healthcare providers. According to a news report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the data that has been breached include individuals' names, medical records, birth dates, telephone numbers, Social Security and credit card numbers. This vital information, maintained by doctors, hospitals and insurance company, is more than enough for an identity thief to steal identities and commit fraud, the report states.

One of the largest security breaches in U.S. history, this has raised questions about Anthem's security protocols after revelations that much of the compromised data was not encrypted or properly protected, according to the article. The Indianapolis-based insurer has said that customer information dating back to 2004 may have been compromised and that it would begin offering two years of free identity theft protection to customers started this week, the report said.

This is disturbing news at many levels, said Brian Chase, senior partner at Bisnar | Chase. "This just tells us that health care data, going forward, is going to be targeted by hackers because there is so much information that can be obtained by breaching this data. When healthcare providers do little to protect this data, it's really low-hanging fruit, easily obtainable for hackers."

Chase said he is also concerned by reports that Anthem did little or nothing to encrypt this data despite prior security breaches. For example, in 2012, Anthem Blue Cross settled a lawsuit brought by then California Attorney General Kamala Harris over a security breach involving 33,000 customers when it sent them letters with their Social Security numbers clearly visible through a transparent window on the envelopes, he pointed out.

The frightening part of the most recent security breach is that it could affect consumers in the long term, maybe even for the rest of their lives, Chase said. "The scary thing is that these hackers could sit on this information for years and then strike suddenly. Many consumers are going to be blindsided when that happens."

Chase says it would be in the best interest of consumers to remain vigilant and closely monitor all existing accounts including bank, brokerage and 401K accounts. "It is important that anyone who has been affected sign up promptly for credit card alerts and identity theft protection. Those who have been affected may need to maintain this heightened sense of vigilance and alertness for a long time to come."

About Bisnar | Chase

Bisnar | Chase represents seriously injured victims and others injured by acts of negligence. The firm has been featured on a number of popular media outlets including Newsweek, Fox, NBC, and ABC and is known for its passionate pursuit of results for their clients. Since 1978, Bisnar | Chase has recovered over $250M for victims and their families. For more information, please call 800-561-4887 or visit bestattorney.com for a free consultation.

Source: http://www.stltoday.com/news/special-reports/mohealth/ant...

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