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May 11, 2017

Another Day, Another Data Breach in New York City

It’s easy to lose sight of the human factor in a data breach, when information like customer names and addresses are stolen. But when it happens to a healthcare provider, it can be a much different story.  

Just recently, for instance, the Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center in New York City made headlines when a data breach exposed the personal medical records of at least 7,000 patients.

The data breach, which spanned from 2014 to 2017, exposed patients’ HIV statuses, mental health conditions and medical diagnoses as well as sexual assault and domestic violence reports. It also exposed data related to addiction histories and religious affiliations, as well as personally identifiable information like names and addresses.

As NBC explained, the leak was caused by a misconfigured Rsync backup server hosted by a Louisville, Kentucky-based record management company called iHealth.

"iHealth Solutions, Inc. (iHealth) confirmed to Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center that an iHealth server containing hospital data was the target of an unauthorized hack by a third party. The hospital and its vendor, iHealth, took immediate steps to protect the data," Bronx Lebanon Hospital explained in a statement.

According to iHealth, the issue has been contained and there is no indication that the exposed data was used to cause harm. However, the fact that the data was exposed over a period of about three years is alarming and raises many questions about where the information may live offline.

All New York City hospitals should reassess their vendor relationships, and start asking hard-hitting questions about data management. Asking questions about data management and cybersecurity could go a long way in protecting sensitive customer records — records, it should be noted, that should never be exposed to the public.

A new breed of hacktrepeneurs has awoken and they have little to fear and everything to gain by infecting as many companies as possible and extorting money from them. Apex Technology Services stands ready to protect your company regardless of whether it’s located in New York CityWhite Plains, New York; Connecticut; Australia; Europe; or anywhere else. Our full suite of cybersecurity and IT support services is at your disposal, enabling you to spend less time worrying about and more time growing your business.

To ensure your security, consider one of our most popular services — Auditing & Documentationwhich pinpoints vulnerabilities in your infrastructure, process flow and internal security procedures.

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