Luis M. Alvarez – Feb. 19, 2015
Earlier this month, President Obama came to Silicon Valley to hold a summit on cybersecurity, inviting the best minds from the most successful technology security firms to join him. The focus of the meeting was the increasing threat posed by cybercriminals to both the public and private sector, which was highlighted by the news that Anthem, one of the largest health insurance providers in the country, suffered a devastating breach to its computer systems that allowed the theft of more than 80 million customer records. The week after the summit, the cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab announced that banks in Europe had been the victim of a sophisticated and coordinated cyberattack that could result in the theft of nearly $1 billion.
For most of us, cybercrime is something that happens to other people, but the fact is that these incidents highlight the reality that online threats and criminal acts know no boundaries. By some measures, Anthem Blue Shield and Blue Cross are the largest health insurance carriers in the state of California and chances are some of us are victims of the stolen data, which includes information like date of birth and social security numbers, plenty of information for identity theft. Banks in Europe may not be something we care about but the fact is that if they are vulnerable, what does that say about the bank you are doing business with? The threat is global but the impact is local.
It is because of these growing threats that we formed the Global Cyber Security Team, or GCST, the newest division of Alvarez Technology Group. Under the leadership of Jeff Dicks, the company’s Chief Security Officer, GCST officially launched this month and it is tasked with developing and implementing a set of tools, business practices, and technology solutions to protect our clients from security threats, online or otherwise. Although cyber threats present a significant risk, the best security practices take into account the threats posed by other factors, too, including people.
The GCST was created to provide the extra level of security care needed by some of our clients who have to comply with government regulations and other regulatory rules, such as healthcare providers who are governed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). In addition, more and more companies are investing in cyber insurance to cover the gaps in traditional insurance plans, and the companies that offer cyber insurance require that their customer adhere to a defined set of information technology practices. GCST is available to help those clients get into the shape they need to be in to qualify for cyber insurance.
If you are interested in learning more about GCST or any of our security offerings, please contact us any time.
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