On October 25, Fortune 1000 company CNO Financial Group, Inc. submitted a report to the Office for Civil Rights’ Breach Portal at the U.S. Department of Health and Human services. The report revealed that the personally identifiable information of 566,127 people was accessed by an unauthorized party through a subsidiary of CNO, Bankers Life. This breach is the fifth largest incident added to the HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool this year.
Security experts commented below on this report.
Jonathan Bensen, Acting CISO at Balbix:
“With the proliferation of devices, apps, and users coupled with more than 200 ways for adversaries to exploit and breach an organization, it has become increasingly difficult for large organizations to watch over their massive and growing attack surface. Further challenges appear as organizations commonly allow employees to access their work from their own devices (BYOD), whether they are managed or unmanaged by their employer’s IT department.
This particular breach was the result of threat actors obtaining the credentials of Bankers Life employees, highlighting a need for enterprises to educate their employees on the threats that lurk in the shadows and the importance of proper security hygiene. This breach is the fifth largest incident added to the HIPAA Breach Reporting Tool website this year, making it clear that Bankers Life must adopt a proactive approach to breach avoidance. This starts with continuously monitoring your entire asset inventory so identified security issues can be quickly addressed.”
Jacob Serpa, Product Marketing Manager at Bitglass:
“Financial services and healthcare are two of cybercriminals’ most commonly targeted industries. Companies in these verticals handle highly sensitive information that can be sold for massive amounts of money on the dark web. Unfortunately, the Bankers Life breach exposed both financial and healthcare information, placing affected individuals in a highly perilous situation.
According to Bankers Life, compromised employee credentials were used by unauthorized third parties who accessed company tools that contained personal information belonging to policyholders and applicants. Unfortunately, this type of attack is not surprising, as nearly three quarters of all financial services breaches in 2018 were caused by hacking or malware. Organizations cannot underestimate the importance of advanced identity management solutions, including single-sign-on and multifactor authentication. With these kinds of tools, organizations can ensure that sensitive data doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.”