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Hackers Steal 4½ Million Medical Records

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Hackers Steal 4½ Million Medical Records

2014 has become a legendary year for data breaches. Community Health Systems, a hospital network covering 206 facilities across the United States, became the target of a data breach resulting in 4.5 million records being compromised by Chinese hackers. The information they obtained included Social Security numbers, birthdays, names, addresses, and telephone numbers.

The extent of the attack has been revealed over the past few months. Anyone who received treatment, or was referred to Community Health Systems by an external physician, has been exposed by this data breach. All it takes is a simple tie to the network, and your personal information could be completely compromised. Hackers now have all of the information they need to steal your identity. This identity theft can lead to undesirable consequences that include the taking out of unauthorized loans and credit cards both of which can ruin your credit scores.

Community Health Systems is used by 28 states, with its largest enrollments in Alabama, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, and Tennessee. The network was targeted by a very sophisticated brand of malware sometime between April and June of 2014. The FBI has become involved, and will do whatever needs to be done to find the criminals. These hackers, located in China, are known to the FBI, and this isn’t the first time they’ve been suspected of plotting cyber-schemes that target American businesses.

Community Health Systems will offer identity theft protection for those affected, but for some, this isn’t enough. This loss of personal information gives victims legal grounds to sue the company for violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 2006 (HIPAA). This is likely to cause a substantial loss of revenue for Community Health Systems, created by the supposed “negligence” of the hospital’s network administrators.

According to a report generated by the Ponemon Institute and sponsored by Symantec, legal reparations and the number of records lost in a data breach are two of the leading factors considered when determining how much a data breach can cost your business. In the United States, each compromised record costs somewhere between $184 and $194 per capita. Multiply that by 4.5 million, and you have a intimidating number that absolutely no business wants to deal with.

If a data breech situation occurs, you really have to think about whether your business can afford this type of financial disaster. The answer should always be “no.” What you can afford, however, are Quikteks’ security solutions dedicated to keeping your data and network safe from prying eyes. This measure is known as a UTM, or Unified Threat Management device, which consists of powerful firewalls, antivirus software, web content filtering, and anti-spam technology.

By putting a powerful, comprehensive threat management system in place, you won’t have anything to worry about in the face of a cyber attack. If you want to protect yourself from threats, there is no better choice than Quikteks. Give us a call at (973) 882-4644 today to see what we can do for your business.