While many companies and healthcare entities are working under different conditions due to COVID-19, many must also contend with breaches and cybercrime.
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During the COVID-19 pandemic, cyber threats and breaches have increased.
Protected Health Information (PHI) has been a consistent target, as it contains a valuable set of information.
For example, a Massachusetts Behavioral Health Network recently began notifying almost 130,000 patients that their PHI may have been exposed.
In that case, a cyberattacker placed malware within the network’s systems. The impacted systems included names, addresses, birth dates, treatment and diagnostic data, health insurance information and Social Security numbers.
The Network was unable to determine if the cyberattacker actually accessed any information.
In a separate incident, a security breach at Blackbaud database exposed the information of 657,392 health system donors. Blackbaud hosts a fundraising database that contains information about donors, potential donors, and patients in the health system. An investigation is ongoing to determine the extent of the access by unauthorized individuals.
There are many additional breaches under investigation and occurring regularly throughout the pandemic.
So how do you ensure that your practice or company does not become another breach statistic?
Start by understanding all of your potential risks. With the help of an attorney, prepare a thorough risk assessment. Once you understand your vulnerabilities, you can work on fixing them.
Next fix any potential issues and understand that human error and bad actors are always potential risks. You can combat this by providing your staff regular training and asking that they report any suspicious activity.
Make sure that your staff knows how to quickly respond to a breach, to minimize the impact.
And finally, if you don’t have cyber insurance, now is the time to get it. Cyber insurance can help protect your practice when a breach occurs.
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