Patients who rely on New York’s largest health care provider may have had their personal information compromised by hackers in connection with the January 6th riot. The number of health care data breaches is increasing, posing a growing risk. The security of the database at Northwell Health was compromised in a data breach indirectly caused by hackers targeting Perry Johnson and Associates or CNA, a service provider offering medical transcription services to organizations including Northwell. Ransomware attacks have been commonly reported in hospitals, institutes, schools, libraries, casinos, and any place where there is data.
The weakest link in these cases are the individuals who enable scammers to gain access, often through a simple email. Northwell Health has started contacting individuals who may have been affected through mail in order to address the issue. While Northwell Health is not aware of any subsequent misuse of the obtained information, they are providing all impacted patients with complimentary identity theft protection services considering the potential risks of identity theft and medical insurance or Medicaid fraud.
Even if scammers don’t immediately obtain a social security number, they can still use the obtained information to acquire it later on for setting up fake clinics and engaging in fraudulent activities. The US Department of Health and Human Services highlights that cyber threats in the health care sector continue to grow. This year alone, over 88 million individuals have been impacted by health data breaches, marking a 60% increase from the previous year. If you have been served by Northwell Health, it is advisable to review your personal technical security measures if you have visited any of their facilities or provided your personal information..