February consisted of a ransom attack, a break-in and a breach from inside the system, all which contributed to 21 total healthcare breaches and nearly 80,000 records compromised.
Since the beginning of the year:
There have been 1,288,302 million total records compromised since the beginning of 2017, and over half of them have been healthcare records. Of the 279 total data breaches, 72 of them have occurred in the healthcare field.
February’s most notable healthcare breaches:
The Internal Employees
A pair of patient transporters accessed over 3,000 medical records from a university-based hospital in Tennessee. The two employees looked at 3,247 medical records between May 2015 and December 2016. They were able to see personal information such as demographics, medical record numbers, and social security numbers. As of now, there is no evidence that the information was downloaded or printed. However, the medical center is still taking proper precautions and sending letters to patients notifying them of the breach.
A Georgia-based health system fell victim to a ransomware attack that included almost 80,000 patients’ records. The information was accessed through the system’s appointment software “Waits and Delays.” The hackers were able to remove the appointments database and then demanded a ransom to restore the site. It is not evident if the health system paid it or not. The information stolen included names, dates of birth, contact information and appointment information. Since becoming aware of the breach, the hospital has notified all of the patients who were affected by the breach and encouraged them to keep an eye on their financial statements and credit reports.
7,000 patient records were stolen during a break-in at a healthcare provider’s office in Kansas. The break-in had occurred at approximately 5:00 am before the facility opened. The intruder gained access by breaking a window and stole a desktop computer and a printer. The computer contained many non-encrypted appointment notes dating back to 2002 and 2003. The information in the notes varied, but some consisted of names, dates of birth and diagnoses and orders.