IT Security Missteps for Healthcare Industry in 2019

Published in Member Communities on July 16, 2019

When we know better, we do better. It comes to no surprise that every year there will be security breaches. Our hope is that each year we are able to play a part in limiting the number of breaches that occur. These are just a handful of the data breaches that have happened in the healthcare industry so far this year. We can learn from these incidents and take time to realize the consequences of lagging behind in cyber defense.

Touchstone Medical Imaging

Touchstone Medical Imaging faced a hefty breach costing them $3 million. It occurred when the company left one of its FTP servers open. An FTP server is a type of computer where file exchanges happen. Unfortunately, this ended up being accessible over the internet, letting unauthorized individuals have access to protected health information.

It took the company five months to take actions to secure the information, thereby exposing more patients for even longer. Additionally, they failed to notify the patients of the breach and the media in accordance with federal law.

UW Medicine

One million patients’ PHI was exposed through Seattle’s UW Medicine server. Protections on their server were accidentally removed, causing sensitive information to be accessed by internet search engines. Anyone was able to access this information. It was first discovered by a patient who searched their own name online and saw their personal information displayed in the open. The information exposed was directly related to their patient care, not any social security or financial information. They acted quickly and swiftly upon finding out about the breach, but alerting patients alone cost them $1 million.

Navicent Health

This breach was the direct result of a cyber attack through Navicent’s email system. All PHI was compromised including the financial and social security information. It impacted 278,016 patients.

American Medical Collection Agency

The AMCA had a system hack that impacted twenty million patients. The hack went unnoticed for 8 months. This is obviously a gross amount of negligence on the part of the AMCA and will cost them millions of dollars. The investigation is still ongoing as to why it took them so long to identify the breach and what they plan to do about the attack.

Healthcare industries cannot take cybersecurity too seriously. The information that hackers want is incredibly valuable and it's imperative that the industry takes protecting it seriously. Talk to us about cyber insurance for breach protection.


comments powered by Disqus

From Our Experts

Order a Custom Video From VGM thumbnail Order a Custom Video From VGM As a VGM member, you make a huge impact on the lives of people in your community. Now, you can promote your services in a professionally made video. For just $90, you'll be able to post, share, and send your very own Bring It Home video. Hellman, a division of VGM Group, will add your logo to the end of the video, branding it as yours to use in any or all of your marketing. Order a Custom Video From VGM thumbnail Order a Custom Video From VGM As a U.S. Rehab member, you make a huge impact on the lives of people in your community. Now, you can promote your services in a professionally made video. For just $90, you'll be able to post, share, and send your very own Bring It Home video. Hellman, a division of VGM Group, will add your logo to the end of the video, branding it as yours to use in any or all of your marketing. Start With Yes: A Chat with Bellevue Healthcare's President, Joel Gallion thumbnail Start With Yes: A Chat with Bellevue Healthcare's President, Joel Gallion U.S. Rehab President, Greg Packer, asks Joel Gallion, President at Bellevue Healthcare in the state of Washington, what it's been like on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. U.S. Rehab Recap and Plan for 2020 and Beyond thumbnail U.S. Rehab Recap and Plan for 2020 and Beyond In these very trying times during the COVID-19 pandemic, U.S. Rehab is working diligently to keep our members updated on the changes that are happening in D.C. with CMS and how this is affecting our membership community. We have worked diligently alongside many industry leaders, including NCART, NRRTs, the ITEM Coalition, and many manufacturers and providers to ensure the success of our industry. Packer Perspective: Shining Under Pressure thumbnail Packer Perspective: Shining Under Pressure The complex rehab technologies industry has done a great job of taking care of critical needs of patients and personnel during this pandemic. We are definitely not out of the pressure stage, but we are very well versed in how to make our industry shine. Episode 55: Heartland At Home thumbnail Episode 55: Heartland At Home Listen as we chat with Heartland Committee Members Jill Blaser and Kelly Kopriva on what Heartland will look like this year through a new virtual format, but with the same great education and networking opportunities! Episode 54: Finding Out How COVID-19 Impacts Our VGM Members thumbnail Episode 54: Finding Out How COVID-19 Impacts Our VGM Members VGM Members Liam O'Keefe (On The Mend Medical Supplies & Equipment) and Jacob Kwaiser (Adaptive Modification Solutions) talk with VGM Live At Home vice president, Jim Greatorex about their personally and professional experiences with COVID-19. Episode 53: Connor's Cuddles thumbnail Episode 53: Connor's Cuddles We talk with VGM Member and Founder of Connor's Cuddles, Christine Strutt about being a member and why she started her amazing organization.