Archive for December, 2014

Reachout Home Care Services suffered data breach

December 30th, 2014

Theft of stolen laptop caused data security breach for the Reachout customers who live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. According to the Reachout Home Care Services, their stolen laptop was unencrypted and contained protected health information (PHI).

According to the statement, 5,000 individuals had their information potentially exposed. The incident of theft occurred at the offices of ReachOut Home Care in Richardson, Texas. The computer contained names and claims data for patients. In some cases, Medicare identification numbers were included.

According to the statement:

At this time, ReachOut Home Care has no reason to believe the information has been used inappropriately. ReachOut Home Care is in the process of notifying all of its customers whose information was on the computer and will provide individuals whose Medicare identification number was included free access to a credit-monitoring service that can help them protect against potential misuse of their information.  We are strongly encouraging these ReachOut Home Care customers to enroll for the free service.

While ReachOut Home Care has policies and procedures in place to maintain the security of its members’ information, we are taking additional steps as a result of this incident. These steps include a comprehensive review of our technical security procedures with ReachOut Home Care and an inventory and review of all ReachOut Home Care equipment that maintains protected health information to ensure that all equipment has been encrypted.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

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.

Laptop stolen from Car

December 25th, 2014

According to the company statement, DJO Global employee’s laptop was stolen from a locked car in Roseville, Minnesota. While the laptop was password protected but it contained personal patient’s information. According to the company, apart from password protection, the laptop had firewalls, anti-virus software, logical access control and tracking/remote management software.

The affected information includes patient names, phone numbers, diagnosis codes, DJO products received by patients and the dates that products were ordered or shipped. According to the reports, information about doctors that tended to patients may have been included in the laptop.

“Since learning about this incident, we have been working very closely with data privacy experts,” the statement read. “As of today, we have conducted a thorough investigation and have uncovered no evidence that any personal information has been misused.”

The affected numbers of patients is not disclosed by the DJO but all the affected are informed about the breach. No credit card information was included but a small number of Social Security numbers were present on the laptop.

“Please be assured that we also are taking reasonable steps to mitigate the circumstances resulting from this incident and to ensure an incident like this does not happen again,” DJO said.

According to the statement:

  • Since learning about this incident, DJO have been working very closely with data privacy experts.
  • DJO has conducted a thorough investigation and have uncovered no evidence that any personal information has been misused.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Data breach involves Veterans

December 23rd, 2014

Contractor’s flaw lead to the data breach which exposed sensitive information of around 7000 Veterans. The department of Veterans Affairs (VA) notified the incident and also told to the press that the vendor was providing home telehealth services to veterans. The breach was caused because of potential flaw in a vendor’s system.

“An investigation was immediately initiated and security scans were conducted by VA, which confirmed the concern,” the spokesman said. “The contracted vendor has assured VA that only vendor staff and VA staff had accessed this information. The security flaw in the vendor database was immediately corrected and VA continues to closely monitor the application.”

The affected information includes names, addresses, dates of birth, phone numbers and VA patient identification numbers.  Veterans are offered complementary credit protection services.

The VA didn’t disclose the name of the vendor but according to the reports, this particular data leak till now has not caused security problems. The information was potentially seen after a database was inadvertently exposed online.

The latest data breach has raised yet another concern in VA’s data security aspects. Earlier, the agency has also failed its annual cybersecurity audit. VA Chief Information Officer Stephen Warren presented the audit results at a House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing.

“Specifically, by not keeping sufficient records of its incident response activities, VA lacks assurance that incidents have been effectively addressed and may be less able to effectively respond to future incidents,” the GAO report stated. “In addition, without fully addressing an underlying vulnerability that allowed a serious intrusion to occur, increased risk exists that such an incident could recur.”

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Data accessible on third party website

December 21st, 2014

Redding, Calif.-based Mercy Medical Center found out that physician progress notes were publically accessible on a third-party website. Potentially affected patients took the treatment at Mercy Medical. Data breach doesn’t include Social Security numbers and other financial information.

The affected information includes patient names, medical record numbers, dates of birth, ages, dates of service, diagnoses, medications, review of systems, current therapies, and treatment plans.

“We sincerely regret this incident occurred and are taking appropriate measures to prevent any similar incident in the future, including continuing efforts to educate staff and physicians on securing medical information,” Michelle Kirby, Dignity Health Service Area Compliance Director mentioned on the letter which was posted on the California Attorney General’s website.

According to the reports, patients’ information is not believed to have been accessed inappropriately. Kirby suggested that patients can contact one of the three major credit bureaus and place a fraud alert on their credit file.

According to the statement, Mercy Medical simply explained that “Upon discovery the third party removed the link from their website rendering the information no longer accessible.”

Points to be considered:

  • Facilities should be active in implementation of security measures
  • All aspects of security should be considered instead of focusing on one
  • Proper training of the staff

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Northwestern Memorial laptop stolen

December 19th, 2014

 

Data breach occurred when Northwestern Memorial password protected, unencrypted laptop containing patient information was stolen from inside of employee’s vehicle. The affected information includes patients’ names, addresses, dates of birth, health insurance information, billing codes, date of services, physician’s name, medical record numbers, diagnosis, and treatment information. In a few cases, Social Security numbers might have also been compromised.

According to the statement on the website:

“We deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause you,” the statement read. “NMHC has a robust privacy and security program, including encryption of laptop computers. To help prevent something like this from happening again, NMHC is confirming and ensuring encryption of all laptop computers and reinforcing education with our staff on the importance of handling patients’ information securely.”

Northwestern Memorial has notified around 3,000 patients that their PHI was potentially compromised. According the reports, there is no malicious use of data. However, notification letters were sent to potentially affected patients and individuals are urged to reach out to a dedicated call center if they have any questions or concerns.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

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.

Data breach may affect 200,000 individuals

December 17th, 2014

Belle Glade office of Family Central, Inc. in Florida suffered data breach when former employee accessed the electronic database inappropriately. The said database manages the personal information of individuals applying for or receiving services from the coalition.

“The security breach compromised the personal information of individuals whose data is contained in the system, including parents and children residing in Palm Beach County who have received school readiness services or participated in the Voluntary Prekindergarten Education Program,” the statement read.

According to the reports, federal officials are investigating the incident. Individuals who have received services from the organization are encouraged to carefully monitor their credit history and enroll for free fraud alerts with one of the three major credit agencies.

“Family Central has implemented additional security measures including expanded security training for all employees, further restricting access to the information system and revising data security policies,” the statement said.

Currently, 177 individuals are affected but the number can grow.

According to the statement published on company’s website –

Individuals who have received services from the coalition and Family Central, Inc., may wish to review their credit history for any potential fraudulent or suspicious activities they have not authorized.  To protect themselves from the possibility of identity theft, they may also place a free fraud alert on their credit files.  A fraud alert notifies creditors to contact individuals before opening new accounts in their name.  

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Children Art Project and Data Breach

December 12th, 2014

A healthcare data breach was caused by what started as goodwill attempt when a health system employee mistakenly donated CDs having patients’ protected health information (PHI) for children’s projects.

According to the reports, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System (VCUHS) employee took CDs that were no longer needed for the organization’s services and gave it to Children as a reference for art project.  The affected information includes patients’ full name, and one or more of the following: home addresses, dates of birth, medical record numbers, clinical information and health insurance information. A few of the CDs also contained Social Security numbers.

The website statement didn’t mention about the number of individuals affected but likely more than 1,000 medical information records were involved.

“What began as a well-intentioned philanthropic effort by a staff member wanting to help turned into a serious mistake that we are working very hard to remedy,” John Duval, CEO of MCV Hospitals and Clinics, said in a statement. “This error brought to light a vulnerability in our system that developed over time and that we are working to correct, and we are deeply sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused some of our patients.”

VCUHS has revised its protocols regarding media destruction and will intensify its efforts to protect all sensitive information, Duval added. VCUHS said that it also re-collected most of donated CDs.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

 

Subcontractor mishandled sensitive information

December 10th, 2014

A potential data breach was caused because of information mishandling by  a health insurance subcontractor. According to the reports, WellCare Health Plans notified 47 Medicare subscribers at the end of November that their protected health information (PHI) was breached. Around 500 people were affected by this incident.

Social security numbers and other financial information were not exposed. Also, information regarding specific diagnosis was not revealed. A total of 47 people were notified in Monroe County along with more than 500 people in New York.

“When the error was discovered, WellCare sent postage-paid envelopes to the members who were believed to have received the inadvertent mailings,” the Democrat & Chronicle stated.

According to the reports,

The insurer said it was not aware of misuse of anyone’s information. Nevertheless, it urged the 47 individuals to review their credit card bills and other financial statements. The insurer is providing one-year credit protection.

The breach was a violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Crystal Walker, director of public relations, said WellCare learned on Nov. 3 that a vendor had a computer coding error, which caused denial letters to be sent to the wrong members. The information included the person’s name, address, member ID number and general descriptions of the procedure, such as evaluation, radiology or administrative. No specific diagnoses were revealed.

Get your personal as well as office laptops encrypted by Alertsec

Unencrypted laptops present a major risk of data loss. 80% of information theft is due to lost or stolen laptops and other equipment. About 50% of network intrusions are performed with credentials gathered from lost or stolen devices. The penalties for a data breach are severe not only in terms of the monetary fines imposed on the organization, but also the potential loss of trust from customers and suppliers. Encryption software greatly enhances the security of your organization’s data as the information is not compromised if a laptop is lost or stolen.

Alertsec Xpress is the full disk encryption service that delivers a mobile data protection system for all information stored on laptops used throughout your organization.

Series of lawsuits against Good Samaritan

December 7th, 2014

Troy, NY-based Good Samaritan Hospital breach has various pending lawsuits from seven parties which include four current or former correction officers, a jail employee, the family of a correction officer on behalf of a minor child, and a private individual who sued the county.

“Rensselaer County has paid $25,000 in a court award and set aside $90,000 for expected legal fees in a flurry of lawsuits brought by jail officers and others whose medical information was viewed for years by employees using a computer in the jail nurses’ office,” the article stated.

Good Samaritan has earlier notified 23 people about data breach which resulted from stolen data from Rensselaer County Jail’s nurse’s station. The recent example involved inappropriate access to girl’s record. Case was resolved by parents agreeing for $25,000 settlement. Incident involved next door neighbor who is Rensselaer County Jail officer reportedly gaining access to the girl’s data.

To safeguard information companies should follow below steps:

  • Keep all HIPAA safeguards up-to-date
  • Training employees for importance of securing the data
  • Staff members must understand what type of medical access is appropriate
  • Proper HIPAA technical safeguards can monitor when employees log in, and whether that access is necessary

One should understand importance of technical safeguards whose definition goes by:

The technology and policies meant to protect electronic health information is safe. There used to be two divisions for this safeguard called “technical security and mechanisms” and “technical security services.” Covered entities are not forced to choose a specific type of technical safeguard as long as what they choose permits them to remain HIPAA certified and compliant.

Alertsec strengthens security

Alertsec has created a web based encryption service that radically simplifies deployment and management of PC encryption by using industry leading Check Point Full Disk Encryption (former Pointsec) software.

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.