By Julia Vann
In the last few decades, technology has become far more prevalent. With that, so has malevolent hacking, particularly ransomware. When ransomware attacks a computer, it typically encrypts the files on it. To decrypt them, the user must pay the hacker for the keys. All the while, ransomware leaves user information vulnerable, as there is no telling what the hacker will do with the information stored on the computer.
In what seems to be a long string of recent hackings, there is yet another victim. According to HIPAA Journal, “On September 13, 2018, the National Ambulatory Hernia Institute in California experienced a ransomware attack that resulted in certain files on its network being encrypted.”
This attack potentially exposed the personal information of over 15,000 patients. This information may even include addresses and social security numbers.
As a result of this, the institute has advised patients to invest in some identity monitoring services for the duration of a year following the attack. It is unclear whether the institute intends to provide this service for patients free of charge.
As of right now, the institute has moved all their data to an off-site server and they have increased their security in order to protect patient data. Unfortunately, the damage has already occurred. Thankfully, there is a silver lining. The attack did not affect patients who visited the institute for the first time after July 19, 2018.
To learn more about HIPAA compliance, visit the American Medical Compliance website.