3514 UCSF patients information on stolen laptop

September 10th, 2013 by admin Leave a reply »

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital.

A laptop belonging to an employee of UC San Francisco was stolen. Some patients were informed about this theft as the laptop held patient’s personal information.

The security for the protection of health information at UCSF is of utmost importance. UCSF is taking best possible caution and concern, while there is still no evidence that there has been any attempt to access the information.

Letters have been sent informing the 3,541 patients whose information was there in the laptop. The California Department of Public Health and the California Attorney General have been alerted, and federal authorities are also being notified. A special phone line has been installed to address questions from patients who receive the notification letters.

As told by UCSF an unencrypted laptop was stolen from the locked vehicle of a UCSF Medical Center employee who works in the Division of Transplantation. When the employee came to know about the theft, he instantly informed San Francisco police, UCSF police and UCSF officials.

To find what information was in the laptop, UCSF immediately began an extensive technical analysis. The analysis revealed that the laptop contained personal and health information of some UCSF patients, including their name and medical record number. Social Security numbers were also involved for a small number of individuals.

Paper documents of 31 patients were also stolen, some of whose information was also on the laptop. Information in the paper documents included patient names, date of birth, medical record number and some health information.

Special phone line has been set up by UCSF to provide additional assistance to all the affected individuals.

UCSF is committed to maintaining the privacy of personal information and takes many precautions to secure that information. In response to the incident, UCSF is working to strengthen educational and operational processes to safeguard patients’ health information.

Alertsec strengthens security

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Organizations, especially corporate giants, have to have an information security policy in place that proves they have taken necessary steps and measures to safeguard the information they gathered. If these policies are not adhered to, the regulators may prosecute.

Alertsec Xpress is used by organizations that have recognized the need to protect their information. Customers range from single-user sole traders and consultants to multinational companies with a large number of offices around the globe. Over 4 million users worldwide use Alertsec Xpress’s Check Point Full Disk Encryption.

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