IT Security Breaches

This report is about computer security breaches that are continuously increasing worldwide and internet users has to face various security risks of information. The major risk factors that involve in computer breach are hacking, phishing and other harmful virus attacks. Due to vulnerable impact of these computer security breaches, people always want to get prevention from these breaches. There are several incidents of computer security breaches that are experienced by computer users worldwide. Not only common computer users but also business organizations are highly influenced by these breaches. Ecommerce websites like Amazon, eBay and Snapdeal etc. have also come under influence of this computer breach. Not only past years, but in current year 2016, many computer security breaches have found. Through this report we will emphasize on one case of computer security breach and will discuss about what is problem, how it is occurred and solution of this problem. (Anthemfacts.com, 2016)

Discussion

In this segment of report, we will discuss about computer security breach that is happened at Newkirk Products. It is a service provider and issues healthcare ID cards. It was considered as most harmful and vulnerable computer breach of 2016.

What was the Problem?

NewKirk Products attack was held in July, 2016. With this attack, 3.3 million people were affected. NewKirk Products revealed recently that they are victim of security breach. As we know that, NewKirk Products issues healthcare ID cards for health insurance plan, so its database contains personal information of people who wants to get health insurance plan. In July 6, 2016, company found that they discovered that their server’s records have accessed without authorization. But till now, there is no evidence found that this information is used in inappropriate form.

How and why it occurred?

This security breach is held by hackers and they have done this to get variety of information of healthcare plan. The stolen information includes combination of member name, mailing address, group id, member id, primary care provider, date of birth and premium invoice information etc. This whole information is very much confidential for Newkirk Products. Due to this security breach, various healthcare plans of Newkirk Products have affected and their names are listed as below:

  • DST Health Solution Inc.
  • Gateway Health Plan
  • West Virginia Family Health
  • Uniformed Services Family health Plan

Not only healthcare plans of Newkirk Products but also its customers are highly affected by security breach. They are very much worried about their stored information into database of Newkirk Products. They have also asked questions to this company that how they can provide security to our information. The server of Newkirk Products which is hacked by hackers did not contain social security numbers, banking or credit card information and other medical information, so this information is saved. After this attack, company has shut down the server and has started investigation of incident. For this investigation, a third party forensic investigator is hired to determine the level of unauthorized access and how much personal information of customers have been accessed. In this case of security breach, Federal Law Enforcement is also involved and forensic investigation is still going on. According to report of investigators, unauthorized has already occurred before in May, 2016. Due to this attack, some healthcare plans got influenced but others are secured. This was not a small security breach, but due to some already existed security options, so much heavy loss has not occurred. Now this is responsibility of Newkirk Products to do efforts to provide best security to its customers. Now in next segment of this report, we will discuss that how this company provided security to affected customers from this security breach.

Solution for Problem

To get rid of above discussed problem of accessing information through unauthorized persons, Newkirk is in this process of mailing letters to people who are influenced by recent data breach. This letter explains exactly what has happened and also include an offer for two years of free identity protection and services of restoration. A dedicated assistance line for customers who want to get additional information regarding this security breach, is also provided. Besides these security options, Newkirk Products Company should use advanced monitoring devices that can scan for these kind of system anomalies. Periodical scanning and monitoring will be helpful for this company to sustain its level of security. Maintenance of server security is also necessary to perform and to do this backup and recovery options must be used for server. In this way, Newkirk Products Company can enhance its level of extent. Like Newkirk Company there are also some other companies that have faced this type of security breach and it will be better to use these security options.

Now after discussing about computer security breach of Newkirk Products, in next segment of this report we will discuss about other vulnerable computer breach.

Introduction

Here in this segment of report we will discuss about another computer security breach and this is about Anthem Organization. Anthem is a healthcare organization that provides health insurance service to its customers. This company is influenced by a vulnerable computer security breach and this breach is considered largest data breach in healthcare history, but information about cost, causes and consequence of this case has not found yet. This was a cyber-attack and hackers stole lots of important information from database of Anthem healthcare organization. The purpose of making this report is to discuss about this Anthem’s cyber-attack in detail. The main topics that we will discuss here in this report are what was the problem? What were affected and how and how this attack was conducted by hackers and how prevention can get from this attack.( Modern Healthcare, 2016)

Discussion

Anthem is a health insurance company and due to some deficiencies in their security systems, hackers were being successful to access confidential information from their databases. In database of Anthem Company several records of people were stored with their personal information. The main victims of this attack are current and former members of Anthem health plans. Besides this some non-members are also influenced by this attack. There were many customers of Anthem Health Insurance Company those did not that company held their personal details into their databases. But after this incident they got to know this.

What was the Problem?

The problem is that Anthem’s database is hacked by hackers and so much confidential information related to their customers have been taken out. This information consists of personal information of customers of this company those have health insurance. The information that is taken by attackers consists of social security numbers, list of names, home addresses and other personal information. (Times, 2016)

Who were affected?

Due to this attack, near about 78.8 million Americans were influenced with this. Now consumers of Anthem’s service are worried about their personal information and they want security from Anthem’s management. Consumers also want to know that company is able to control this huge amount of data or not. Investigation on this process is also going on and FBI is involved in this case. Whether data is stolen by hackers, but no clue is found that this information is leaked. Besides personal information of consumers, their medical and credit card information has also accessed by hackers. (Prnewswire.com, 2016)

How was attack carried out?

By using hacking techniques, hackers have conducted this attack. Various hacking techniques available that can be used for hacking purpose. By hacking server of Anthem’s company they have accessed information from database. Actual causes of this attack are not cleared yet to FBI. But it is estimated that by using harmful programming scripts or alerts, system can hacked. Hacking techniques have become so advanced and hackers can access confidential information easily. Now the prevention from this attack is very much necessary and in next segment of this report we will discuss that what security plan is made by this company for maintaining security of its customers’ information.

What could have been done to prevent the attack?

Anthem Organization is doing all efforts to enhance its security, so that this type of attacks can be controlled and no more loss of information can occurred. According to statement of Modern healthcare, for Anthem security of customers’ data is on high priority. They are continuously focus on data security and all information security programs are strives to protect, control and maintain overall security of environment of technology. Various new security experts are hired that can manage these types of computer breaches. Company has noticed those persons who have influenced by this attack and now they are doing all efforts to provide security to them. As we know that it is difficult to make trust among customers so that they can consume our services, but when this trust breaks then they become worry about their data that is stored into company’s system. FBI and security experts of Anthem Company smut be aware about new techniques and tools of security that can monitor anomalies of system and can alert to user in case of any problem.

Besides these solutions, other available solutions that can be used by Anthem Healthcare organization are listed below:

  • Proper configuration of anti-virus, ad-blockers is necessary and Firewall must be on in every system.
  • Networking monitoring is also an effective way to identify network position and errors that can be caused by hackers to attack on network.
  • The problem of unauthorized access of database occur when login credentials are not used properly by users and when no instructions are provided to them for using these credentials according to organization’s policy. That is why, it is responsibility of technical administration to take care about login credentials.

In this way, Anthem or other healthcare organizations can prevent itself from security breaches that we have discussed above. As much as technology is getting advanced, hackers are also increasing their activities. Now these small deficiencies of system that we have discussed in Anthem’s healthcare organization’s system must not be left and developers should properly checked every aspect of system before taking it into use. In this way, system errors and bugs can be controlled.

References

Times, L. (2016). Anthem is warning consumers about its huge data breach. Here’s a translation.. latimes.com. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-mh-anthem-is-warning-consumers-20150306-column.html

Modern Healthcare. (2016). Details of Anthem’s massive cyberattack remain in the dark a year later. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20160330/NEWS/160339997

Anthemfacts.com. (2016). How to Access & Sign Up For Identity Theft Repair & Credit Monitoring Services. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from https://www.anthemfacts.com/

Prnewswire.com. (2016). Newkirk Products, Inc. Provides Notice Of Data Breach. Retrieved 26 August 2016, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/newkirk-products-inc-provides-notice-of-data-breach-300309995.html

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