In aftermath of breach, Principal strengthens its authentication process

In the aftermath of a security breach, Principal Life Insurance strengthened its authentication procedures.

On May 14, the Chief Privacy Officer of Principal Financial Group notified the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office that

While investigating a few incidents of fraudulent on-line activity, we discovered similar on-line access to other accounts using the same Internet address used in the fraudulent activity. Based upon our forensic analysis, we believe that an unauthorized person using valid employer credentials (password and user name) gained access and viewed the group contract number, member name, Social Security Number, age, employment status (active/terminated) of two (2) New Hampshire residents in April.

The firm was investigating how the employer’s credentials were compromised, but as a result of the breach, Principal reset the credentials for the employer group and added an Employer Access Code to the authentication process for employer administrators.

The total number of individuals affected was not indicated, but all affected individuals were offered free credit monitoring services. Principal’s notification to NYS indicated that 2 NY residents were also affected.

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