Beazley launches rapid response service for W-2 data breaches

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New York, New York, Jan. 25, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — As the US tax season reaches its peak, cyber criminals will be ramping up their efforts to steal employee W-2 tax information, file false returns and pocket tax refunds. Recognizing that time is of the essence in the event of a W-2 data breach, Beazley, a leading cyber-breach insurer, has launched a rapid response service for its clients.

Inside one business day, legal counsel can be assigned, a call-center set up, and employee notification and assistance plans put in place, including credit monitoring. Beazley’s dedicated in-house breach response team (Beazley Breach Response Services) has used its experience handling breaches and its extensive partner network to streamline the process for responding to this type of event.

Working with its vendor partners in the run-up to W-2 season, Beazley’s team has created a process through which an organization’s notification to its employees can be up and running within a matter of hours of approving the notification templates and signing contracts with notification vendors.

The BBR Services team sees W-2-related breaches peak toward the beginning of the tax season, as criminals race to file fraudulent returns before employees can file their legitimate ones. In some cases, perpetrators need just a few hours from acquiring the W-2 to filing a tax return, so organizations have to work fast to stand any chance of preventing an attack from succeeding.

Katherine Keefe, head of BBR Services, said: “In 2016, the IRS reported more than a million fraudulent tax returns with $7.97 billion claimed in fraudulent refunds – and W-2’s are a rich source of information for those fake returns.

“A successful attack generally begins with a spoofed email to an employee in the accounting, finance or HR department, usually presented as urgent. Appearing to come from an executive, sometimes bolstered by details the criminal has gleaned from LinkedIn or social media, the email leads the employee to supply PDFs of W-2 forms or other electronic payroll data.

“When the attack succeeds, most or all an organization’s employees are likely to have their data compromised. The employees typically experience immediate harm. And with other valuable data included on the W-2, criminals can continue to exploit it well beyond the tax reporting season.

“Rapid response is critical in these situations. We believe that we have created a unique resource will help our clients protect their employees and their data.”


Note to editors:

Beazley plc is the parent company of specialist insurance businesses with operations in

Europe, the US, Canada, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and Australia. Beazley manages

six Lloyd’s syndicates and, in 2016, underwrote gross premiums worldwide of $2,195.6 million.

All Lloyd’s syndicates are rated A by A.M. Best.

Beazley’s underwriters in the United States focus on writing a range of specialist insurance

products. In the admitted market, coverage is provided by Beazley Insurance Company, Inc.,

an A.M. Best A rated carrier licensed in all 50 states. In the surplus lines market, coverage is provided by the Beazley syndicates at Lloyd’s.

Beazley is a market leader in many of its chosen lines, which include professional indemnity, property, marine, reinsurance, accident and life, and political risks and contingency business.

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A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Eleanor LewisBeazley Group+44 (0)20 7667 0538eleanor.lewis@beazley.comDeborah KostrounKetchum+1 (646) 935



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