Cleveland

Data Breach: 7100 patients notified by University Hospitals

November 15th, 2013

After a third-party vendor performed updates on the computer systems of University Hospitals of Cleveland, Ohio, UH were informed of an alleged hard drive theft.

The not-for-profit medical center has been trying to find the exact nature of the information contained on the drive, since the hard drive disappeared.  According to Fox 8 Cleveland, the drives must have contained information such as names, dates of birth, home addresses, insurance provider information, medical record numbers, health information about specific patient treatment and Social Security numbers for 33 patients. The missing data was compiled from 19 computers within doctors’ offices and the hard drive had not been encrypted.

“There’s no evidence that would lead us to believe that the thief knew what was on the hard drive or could even get into it” stated hospital spokeswoman Janice Guhl. letters have been sent to patients informing them of the potential security breach. The letters contained information on fraud alert and free credit reports, and statement from the hospital stating they are, “actively engaged with an independent IT security consulting firm to strengthen [its] protocols.”

Fox 8 Cleveland stated that UH is collaborating with law enforcement for investigation on the theft at University Hospitals. UH is also working to heighten its technical safeguards and ensure that all devices are encrypted before use. UH has provided a year of free identity theft protection and credit monitoring to 33 individuals whose Social Security numbers may have been compromised because of the theft.

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