Health Insurer Encrypts All Stored Data

Responding to the theft of 57 hard drives in 2009 , BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee has completed a $6 million project to encrypt all of its at-rest data.

The company announced late last month that it spent more than 5,000 man-hours on the encryption effort, which encompassed about 885TB of data.

The project included a thorough inventory of stored data and was completed in just over a year.

The insurer said it is now encrypting all data on 1,000 Windows, AIX, SQL, VMware and Xen server hard drives; 6,000 workstation hard drives and removable media drives; 136,000 tape backup volumes; and 25,000 daily voice-call recordings.

The 57 hard drives, which were stolen from a leased facility in Chattanooga, Tenn., contained recordings of customer service telephone calls that included varying degrees of personal information on about a million of the insurer's subscribers. So far, there is no indication of any misuse of personal data from the stolen hard drives, according to the company.

"The lessons we learned from the theft led us to go above and beyond current industry standards, and our team has worked tirelessly to put new safeguards in place and encrypt all our at-rest data," said CIO Nick Coussoule in a statement.

This version of this story was originally published in Computerworld's print edition. It was adapted from an article that appeared earlier on Computerworld.com.

Read more about storage in Computerworld's Storage Topic Center.

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