Recent data breach in University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Health Plan affected 722 patients. This is the second health data breach at a UPMC facility in just under two months. The incident involved emailing of a data file with certain PHI to the incorrect address.
The affected information includes patient names, member ID numbers, dates of birth, phone numbers, name of the primary care physician’s office, and insurance plan types. Social Security numbers or information about medical histories were not disclosed.
UPMC Health Plan Director of Public Relations Gina Pferdehirt mentioned in an email response that “in context the breach is very minor,” but added that the healthcare organization
was taking the incident seriously.
The data breach occurred when a former MML employee copied certain items of personal information from the billing system over the past two years and then illegally disclosed that information to a third party.
“MML takes this matter very seriously and terminated this employee after being informed of this criminal investigation,” according to a Medical Management statement. “MML is cooperating with federal law enforcement authorities in their criminal investigation.”
According to the statement:
“We apologize for any anxiety or inconvenience that this incident may cause our members,” Chief Compliance Officer of the UPMC Insurance Services Division William Gedman said in a statement. “Based on our ongoing investigation, we will make all changes necessary to further enhance our already stringent privacy protections. UPMC Health Plan is committed to doing our utmost to minimize the chance that this type of issue will occur again.”
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 the 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.