There is a saying something to the effect of “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” Well–shame on Health Net for getting hit with its second massive breach of customer data in as many years. Thanks to nine unecnrypted drives getting “lost” during a move to a new data center, Health Net has potentially exposed sensitive data on 1.9 million customers.
Ericka Chickowski notes in an article on Dark Reading that, “According to the most recent Ponemon Institute figures, the average data breach costs healthcare organizations $345 per records. Using those numbers, this breach could cost Health Net upward of $655 million when all is said and done.”
I get it. On some level I understand that security is an expense and requires effort, and that it is easy to assume that security incidents and data breaches only happen to other companies. It is easy to rationalize gambling with sensitive customer data and assume that having information lost or stolen is about as likely as getting struck by lightning.
But, there isn’t really any excuse for getting struck by lightning twice. Health Net should have learned its lesson the first time around and taken steps to proactively encrypt and protect data on server drives and backup media. A solution from Zecurion would have cost Health Net a fraction of a percent of that estimated $655 million in damages from the data breach–virtually nothing in the grand scheme of things.
Don’t assume that lightning can’t strike at your organization. Your data, and the personal information of your customers, deserve better protection than keeping your fingers crossed and hoping for the best.