• Aetna founded in 1853 in Hartford
• Offered life, liability, Property, casualty, Fidelity
• Insured projects like Hoover Dam and National
• 1960 went international
• By 1981 had operations in 8 countries
• 1990:- stopped issuing individual life insurance.
• Focused on Healthcare and Group benefits
• Became the largest healthcare company in
Information Security at Aetna
• Computer Security:- Security Policy
• Information System:- Backup and disaster recovery Planning
• Facilities Risk management:- Security, safety and Insurance
1987 all consolidated
In 1990 Hired Janus Associates
Centralized Security Administration, Policy making
• ISPP group of 5 members
• Mandatory exam through SecurNet
• Reports to the CIO
• ISPP & Security services co-
• Role Based Exams
• Responsible for information
security awareness program
• Outsourced Development to local
• Usability testing, Quality Assurance,
• SecurNet Portal,
• Help Desk/ Desktop support
Posters, InfoSec Exam
• Emails sent in Phases
Why others were not as successful as
• Implementing a successful security awareness
program is an essential step in enhancing
security within any organizations.
• An organization must understand that risk
and security awareness are closely related. To
reduce or may be to eliminate risk an
organization’s employees must operate at an
acceptable level of awareness.
• Most organization failed (in that period) in
implementing a successful security awareness
program because they thought that it is simply
a matter of shoving the information in general
to the user (employee) and hoping for the best.
Reasons for the success of Aetna’s security awareness
• Understanding the importance of security system awareness was the
reason for the success of Aetna.
Aetna was clear with two facts
• The security systems cannot help the organization if people don’t act
• There are high chances of increase in people oriented vulnerability
from within the organization if user makes a mistake.
One should engage the audience to create awareness. Aetna engaged its
audience through a systematic approach. Through this approach the
employees would not only receive the complete company information
security training, but also a molded module that related to their
everyday working environment and this enhances their relationship with
The Systematic Approach
Take an extreme situation!!
Your IT systems are hacked.
• Your company's financial results are leaked to the
• Your confidential business plans are compromised.
Your employees' personal files are posted on the
• The market loses confidence in your organization.
• Leave that!! Even a small scale security breach
could leave your business without access to its
critical IT systems for hours or days.
How ISPP, a small group is able to
handle the InfoSec exam for more than
27000 Aetna Employees?
• ISPP placed high in the organizational structure
• Reporting directly to the CIO
• ISPP and security services served as co-chairs of
Information Security Committee (ISC)
• Systematic approach towards designing the
• Continuous improvement in conducting the
• Outsourced exam development.
• Tested for quality and stress.
• Implemented the exam in phases
Why Amateur computer users are
used for testing?
• Amateur computer users struggle most in
• Helps usability labs to design exam for
everyone in the company regardless of
computer skills and with less frustration
This makes Aetna confident that anyone in the
company can answer the exam.
Dell security networks
Definition of key cyber
security awareness terms
Data security :Trade secrets,
customer data, employee
Security testing and
Identity and access
Practical examples of
security threats and
Physical security: access to
building, it hardware,
Compliance and certification
Data security and privacy
Importance of individual
People security: partners,
visitors, permanent and
Infra security: networks,
remote sites, website,
Security and governance
Security and network
Threats and virus protection
emergency response plans,
disaster recovery plans,
business continuity plans
Security awareness training
Why it is important for
• It’s a continuous process for the
Employee, every year they need to
Company’s officers to be
undergo an exam on a particular
able to demonstrate due
• They should be taught how
negligence affects the companies
growth, how critical the data is to
• They should be well trained to be
Integration of Aetna’s Business Conduct and Integrity Training Program
• Addresses various facets of Information security
• Role based exams were introduced
• Monitoring tools were introduced
• Emphasis was given in Regulatory compliance,
• Previously they focused on HIPPA, but post integration
• Focus was narrowed down.
Why is it considered a good practice for an
organization to have its users officially sign off
on their security policy?
• The users ensure that they will adapt themselves to the
policies of the organization.
• Assurance that the users will not violate the policy and
procedures in the future.
• Despite the violation, the document of security policy will
act as a proof for scrutinization.
• Confidentiality of Information leakage within different
departments and outside organization.
Quantitative and Qualitative factors
to consider while justifying the
• Quantitative data are not readily available as systems are evolving and new risks are emerging.
• It is important not to allow the process to jeopardize the security and safety of the program by
taking too long to make a funding decision.
• Qualitative research involves interviews with the people responsible for the security awareness
programs. The data from these interviews are analyzed to find commonly reported answers and
• From an analytic perspective, this data assists in mitigating concerns about small sample sizes.
This data is analyzed to determine what security awareness measures are considered effective.
• Successful measures were also extrapolated based upon the factors that led to failures. For
example, a critical failing of most security awareness programs is that they did not collect
metrics prior to beginning awareness programs.
• Security policy, objectives and activities that properly
reflect business objectives
• Clear management commitment and support
• Proper distribution and guidance on security policy to all
employees and contractors
• Effective 'marketing' of security to employees (including
• Provision of adequate education and training
• Understanding of security risk analysis, risk management
and security requirements
• An approach to security implementation which is
consistent with the organization's own culture
• Balanced and comprehensive measurement system to
evaluate performance of information security
management and feedback suggestions for improvement.