Early 2021 proved to be a rollercoaster for Pan-American Life Insurance Group (PALIG), an organization that has prided itself on providing stability for people and businesses for more than 110 years. PALIG was recognized as one of the best-managed companies in the United States just a month after facing down a cyberattack that required the New Orleans-based company to take its systems completely offline while dealing with the data breach.
Into the Breach
In March 2021, PALIG went public with information about the “data incident,” which included the exposure of a small percentage of policyholder and beneficiary information such as names, addresses, and dates of birth. The attack had occurred on February 19, 2021, and cybercrime group REvil claimed responsibility for it.
When PALIG became aware of the attack on the morning of the 19, the organization sent messages to employees telling them to unplug their computers and other devices to minimize the potential risk of further exposure.
The incident required the company to take nearly all of its systems offline and created a headache for phone support specialists working to help policyholders with prescription orders and other health benefits. PALIG worked to bring systems back online as quickly and responsibly as possible.
In reaction to the data incident, PALIG engaged third-party consultants and security experts to investigate exactly what went wrong and to work to prevent another breach in the future. The company also offered additional security services to individuals who may have been affected by the breach, though there was no evidence any information had been used fraudulently in the interim.
The Brighter Side
Despite the early 2021 headache, PALIG was able to find reason to celebrate when they were selected as a 2021 US Best Managed Company. The program is sponsored by Deloitte Private as well as the Wall Street Journal, and recognizes outstanding US private companies along with the achievements of their management teams.
“We are very proud to be named a US Best Managed Company as it is a testament of our disciplined approach to executing our corporate strategy and continuing to deliver on our commitment to our policyholders during a time of changing needs,” said José S. Suquet, president, CEO, and chairman of the board, in a prepared statement. “Guided by the steadfast commitment of our PALIG team across the Americas, who were each relentless in the face of challenge, we are emerging stronger and positioned for continued growth and opportunities.”
The award is yet another in a career of highlights for multidecade veterans like Vice President and Associate General Counsel Carlos Adame, who has been with PALIG since 1989. Adame has cause to celebrate PALIG’s US-based award, but the lawyer also has a Mexican law degree, which makes him a key asset in operating outside of North America in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Adame’s long tenure with the company is a testament to the culture and accomplishments of PALIG, which the recent award highlights.
Applicants were chosen by a panel of judges who focused on four key areas: strategy, ability to execute, corporate culture, and financial performance. The fact that PALIG succeeded in all of these areas while also dealing with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic makes the accomplishment all the more significant.
While a data breach is a terrible way to start a year, PALIG has been able to not only successfully navigate out of a difficult situation but also thrive—building on its history of more than a century of offering its customers both security and stability.
Icaza, González-Ruiz & Alemán congratulates Carlos Adame on this well-deserved recognition! We are proud to be part of Carlos and PAN-AMERICAN LIFE INSURANCE GROUP’s success, providing them with legal services for over 30 years. Icaza is a full-service law firm with headquarters in Panama and offices in South America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean. Visit www.icazalaw.com for more information on our firm.