Chuck Leaver – It Is Likely The Anthem Healthcare Data Leak Could Have Been Avoided

Written By Justin Tefertiller And Presented By Chuck Leaver Ziften CEO


Continuous Endpoint Visibility Would Have Improved Health Care Data Leak Prevention

Anthem Inc found a big scale cyber attack on January 29, 2015 against their data and IT systems. The healthcare data leak was believed to have occurred over a several week period beginning around early December 2014 and targeted personal data on Anthem’s database infrastructure as well as endpoint systems. The taken information consisted of dates of birth, full names, healthcare identification numbers as well as social security numbers of clients and Anthem employees. The specific number of people affected by the breach is unknown however it is estimated that nearly 80 million records were taken. health care data has the tendency to be among the most financially rewarding sources of income for hackers offering records on the dark market.

Forbes and others report that assailants used a process-based backdoor on clients connected to Anthem databases in addition to jeopardized admin accounts and passwords to slowlysteal the data. The actions taken by the hackers positioning and operating as administrators are exactly what ultimately brought the breach to the attention of security and IT teams at Anthem.

This kind of attack shows the requirement for constant endpoint visibility, as endpoint systems are a continuous infection vector and an avenue to sensitive data saved on any network they may link to. Simple things like never before observed processes, brand-new user accounts, odd network connections, and unauthorized administrative activity are typical calling cards of the beginning of a breach and can be quickly identified and notified on given the best monitoring tool. When alerted to these conditions in real-time, Incident Responders can catch the intrusion, discover patient zero, and ideally mitigate the damage rather than enabling opponents to stroll around the network undetected for weeks.


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