Benefits Blog: Dealing with Identify Theft

The very act of conducting business in the modern world by necessity includes collecting and holding personally identifying information such as Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and the like about customers, employees and business partners.

Should this information fall into the wrong hands, it could put these individuals at risk for identity theft.

Medical identity theft is a growing concern for individuals and employers, as well, with more than 2.3 million Americans becoming victims annually.  This represents an average loss of more than $22,000 per incident in terms of lost employee productivity and through the fraudulent overuse of health plan benefits.

The financial impact of medical identity theft can include lost money, unpaid bills, collection agency letters, and tarnished credit reports. Finding and correcting records can be a lengthy process, often taking as long as a year to complete.

The messy consequences of inaccurate medical records and insurance claims can be both a time-consuming nuisance as well as a threat to the victim’s health. The medical repercussions for medical identity theft victims can include misdiagnosis, conflicting prescriptions, missed symptoms and other harmful consequences.

If personal information – whether of a medical nature or not – becomes comprised, it can easily and quickly result in meaningful harm to a person or business.  If identity theft is suspected, call your local police department immediately.  If your local police department is not familiar with investigating information compromises, contact the local office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or the U.S. Secret Service. For incidents involving mail theft, contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

If account access information (credit card or bank account numbers) has been stolen and you do not maintain the accounts, notify the institutions that do so that they can monitor these accounts for fraudulent activity.  If you collect or store personal information for other businesses, notify them of any information compromises immediately.  If the information involved the improper posting of personal information on your website, immediately remove the information and contact the appropriate search engines to ensure that they do not archive personal information that was posted in error.

If names and Social Security numbers have been stolen, contact the three major credit bureaus for additional information and advice. When calling, advise the credit bureau that you will also be alerting the affected parties to place a fraud alert on their files.

For more information on how to protect your business from potential security breaches, contact The Reschini Group.  We have additional risk management tools to assist you in handling identity theft.

Copyright 2021 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

The Reschini Blog: The Scope of Cybercrime

“Cybercriminals and certain foreign nations are not only at the door; they are inside our walls, and often have been for quite some time.  Defending our most valuable information should be of paramount importance for our citizens, businesses, and academic institutions.”  – Matt LaVigna, President and CEO, National Cyber Forensics Training Alliance (NCFTA).

While the fact of cybercrime can hardly be news, the scope of it recently made worldwide news, as multiple departments across the federal government were discovered to have been infiltrated by foreign actors, sometimes for months before being detected.  In that time, untold volumes of sensitive documents impacting U.S. homeland security, relations with countries around the world, financial and diplomatic secrets, and much more may have been compromised, perhaps permanently.

The same dynamic impacts businesses of all sizes, across all industries and locations.  Malicious actors with an abundance of skill and lack of ethics can many times forge their way into an organization’s cyber presence.  Their ability to monetize information can be just as shocking in its effectiveness as the way they break codes and seize data.

The NCFTA reports that, while cybercrime is a relatively underreported event, consider that over the last five years, the Internet Crime Complaint Center received more than 1.7 million complaints and, in 2019 alone, reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion.

The coronavirus pandemic’s impact on cybersecurity may be that, as pressure increases on budgets as companies recover, resources dedicated to cyber protection get reduced.  Sharing information among peers about cybersecurity best practices helps, as do specific tactics to protect software, hardware, employee activities, regular backups and encryptions.

But not to be forgotten in this collection of cybercrime defense is having adequate and appropriate insurance coverage.  As the types and levels of potential damage from cybercrime can vary, so do the insurance options available to organizations.

The professionals at The Reschini Group can assist you in evaluating your exposure to cybercrime, and in fashioning a coverage package that keeps you and your organization safe.  Because the threat is everywhere, and growing.

Copyright 2021 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.