HIPAA Blog

Study Finds Healthcare Sector Uniquely Susceptible to Phishing Attacks

Is the healthcare sector uniquely vulnerable to phishing attacks? A recent report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association says yes, with research to back that claim. A team of researchers led by William Gordon, MD of Harvard Medical School and Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital set out to answer the question, “Are …

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How to Create an Incident Response Plan

Data breaches are extremely common as technology continues to advance. Of those breaches, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are a favored target for cybercriminals. In fact, more than 70% of attacks target small businesses, according to the National Cyber Security Alliance, and as many as 60% of hacked SMBs go out of business following a …

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7,038 Patients of Pawnee County Memorial Hospital Notified of Phishing Attack

Pawnee County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) in Pawnee City, Nebraska has notified 7,038 patients that a hacker may have accessed some of their protected health information. The incident was discovered on November 29, 2018, when PCMH learned that their business e-mail system was compromised by a malware virus. A forensic computer investigator was hired immediately following …

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Fake Check Scam

Being scammed can happen so easily today, but when you make it about a topic that many people can let their guard down with, the scam can happen much easier.  What topic is that? We’re talking about money. Fake check scams have been around for quite some time, however, with the increase in online sales …

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45,000 Patients Impacted by Breach Caused by Third-Party Vendor

Rush University Medical Center is feeling the impact of a breach they themselves did not cause. A third-party vendor is responsible for compromised personal information of 45,000 patients of Rush Medical. The breach was caused by an employee of the claims processing vendor when they inappropriately shared a patient file with an unauthorized individual. Rush …

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Nearly 974,000 UW Medicine Patients’ Medical Records Exposed

The University of Washington Medicine is notifying approximately 974,000 patients of a data breach that occurred in December, which left some of the patients’ information exposed on the Internet. The breach occurred over a 3-week period and was determined to be the result of a misconfigured server. The database was used to track the sharing …

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When a Healthcare Breach Lands You on the Wall of Shame

Healthcare breaches are incredibly difficult for organizations to deal with. Repercussions of a data breach vary greatly depending on what caused the breach to begin with. For example, there’s the struggle of getting your organization back up and running, determining the cause of the breach, notifying patients, taking corrective action, reporting the breach, potentially finding …

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Research Suggests Employees Remain the Weak Links in Security

We’ve known that employees are the weak link in security. In fact, we have been cautioning organizations for quite some time regarding the risks their employees pose when not properly trained. Despite heightened awareness of these risks, recent research from Microsoft suggests that employees remain the weak link, posing huge risks to their organizations. A …

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Sextortion Scam

You get an email or text from what seems to be a legitimate email or phone number.  Then you read the message: “Send bitcoin right away or else I am sending compromising photos or information to your friends and family.” If you’ve received this type of email, you’ve likely been a victim to a new …

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Performing a Security Risk Assessment Offers Value Beyond Compliance

As the digital ecosystem continues to thrive and advance, so too must the regulations and practices for safely caring for sensitive data. That is especially true for the healthcare industry, which continues to be a prime target for cybercriminals. Healthcare practices need to appropriately safeguard electronic protected health information in compliance with the Health Insurance …

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