‘Outdated’ Computer Systems Make Insurers an ‘Attractive Target’ for Hackers
A new study has found that insurers, which often use "outdated" computer systems, represent "especially attractive targets" for computer hackers and should "step up their cyber-security," the Hartford Courant reports. The study, titled "Cyber-Security for Insurers: The Virtual Fortress," found that insurers -- which have undertaken "recent ventures into Internet-based processes" and have expanded computer links to business partners -- "may be targeted" by individuals "angry" about the handling of their claims or by disgruntled former employees. According to Clint Harris, a vice president at Conning & Co., the firm that conducted the study, the insurance industry, a "latecomer to e-business," may have "rushed to become part of the picture, and in that rush, there might be some corners cut." He added that although e-business offers a "tremendous opportunity of improving the industry ... there is so much peril in using it." Harris said that some insurers may "be in denial" about the risks of e-business, while others, "miffed about spending heavily on Y2K" problem prevention, may consider the threat from hackers just "another scare." The study found that computer hackers cost U.S. businesses $26.4 billion last year, a figure that could double by 2005 (Levick, Hartford Courant, 9/7).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.