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Data breach due to device theft

February 15th, 2015

A medical facility in Tennessee suffered data breach when external hard drive was stolen from employee’s home. Along with hard drive, personal electronics were also stolen. The affected information includes patient demographic information, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, phone numbers, and first and last dates of clinic visits. In terms of employee data, the hard drive contained titles, office location, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, pay rates, hire dates, and termination dates (if applicable).

According to the Boston Baskin Cancer Foundation statement:

  • The employee was properly authorized to work on the data at home as part of his job.
  • The hard-drive was not encrypted
  • Patients and employees may wish to place a fraud alert on their credit reports. Questions may be directed to a toll-free helpline

Organization can consider below precaution to avoid data breach due to stolen devices:

  • Encryption of all the work devices – Smart phones, Tablets, Laptops and desktops
  • Passcode protection
  • IT security training for employees
  • Implementation of administrative, technical, and physical safeguards

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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.

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