Impact of High Profile Data Breaches

Created by Jeff Brown 16 Jan 2014 @ 08:26
Tags » None

Ever since the news was released about the high profile data breach at Target recently, in which tens of millions of customers private and financial data was stolen, retail businesses large and small have been scrambling to make sure they are not the next "targets" (pun intended) of these cyber criminals. But it may be that their fear is driven more by the public relations backlash, than it is driven by their actual concern for protecting their customers' privacy and data. At the retail level, any event that impacts sales negatively will always get top priority. Customers who don't trust certain retailers simply won't shop there. Makes perfect sense, right? We could easliy argue that the same "trust equation" exists in our industry with respect to the data required for online insurance purchases. In fact we could argue that there is a greater expectation of privacy protection from insurance companies and agents, than from retail operations. So that leads us to our current discussion - do high profile data breaches outside of the insurance industry have an immediate and noticeable impact on IT budgets and strategies within the insurance industry? If you are an IT manager or executive, let us know if discussions of these breaches are at the forefront of your tactical and strategic security discussions. If you are an IT vendor, let us know if these high profile cyber breaches drive product and service development initiatives that focus on providing technical cyber protections. And for insurance carriers and agents, do you see an increase in buyer interest in cyber policies related to the liability side of the issue. Join the discussion!

Jeff Brown is the Founder & CEO of Market Luminary. He previously served as the Founder/CEO/President of Blue Cod Technologies. He currently serves on Advisory Boards for Yodil Inc., Northeast Outdoors Foundation, and William J. O'Brien Lecture Series.
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It is interesting though that the story keeps popping up in the news, and I think that supports the "public relations" danger of getting breached - it isn't just about the data you might lose.
I know I won't shop at target any more, so I assume it would be the same if a big company like Geico or Progressive had the same problem.
I'm not sure that the Target situation has had a big impact on our conversations, primarily because privacy and security is always a top issue for us regardless of events like that one.
I can tell you that the Target story has come up multiple times in discussions, even in non-IT meetings. Everyone is concerned about the topic personally and professionally.