Arkansas Health System Discloses Data Breach
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- By Steven
- Dec 07, 2022
Over the last few years, health systems have seen a considerable rise in cybersecurity incidents. According to CyberCrime Magazine, the healthcare industry will likely spend up to $125 billion on cybersecurity between 2020 and 2025. Some of this may be ransom payments, but the majority will most likely be to bolster companies’ security systems, protocols, and training for employees.
Too many companies have discovered hacks that stemmed from an employee opening or responding to the wrong email, resulting in thousands, sometimes millions, of victims. Enhancing employee cybersecurity training will help companies fall victim to fewer scams, reducing their risk of malware and ransomware. Unfortunately, the Mena Regional Health System has fallen victim to yet another hack targeted at health providers.
How Did the Attack Occur?
This attack was likely a very stereotypical hack. An unauthorized party managed to work their way into the system’s back end, and access protected health information. “MRHS determined that an unauthorized party removed a limited number of files from our system,” stated the notice. “Upon detecting the incident, MRHS commenced an immediate and thorough investigation and alerted law enforcement. As part of our investigation, MRHS engaged leading cybersecurity experts to identify what personal information, if any, might have been present in the impacted files.” As the investigation furthered, MRHS found that a large amount of PII was involved, though the exact number of victims is unknown.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
To put it mildly, this hack enhanced the risk of identity theft and other PII-related fraud for thousands. The data affected by the breach was listed on the health system’s website.
- Social security numbers
- Full names
- Medical record information
- Patient information
- Driver’s license numbers
- Financial account information
- Government ID numbers
- Diagnosis and treatment details
- Prescription information
- Lab results
- Medical provider’s names
- Health insurance information
How Did Mena Regional Health System Admit to the Breach?
MRHS admitted to the breach through a few avenues. First, it contacted law enforcement; this was the first step to alerting the public and beginning the investigation. Second, the company concluded its investigation and filed a notice with the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights. Last, MRHS notified the victims and posted a message on its site.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
The hacker will most likely sell the stolen information on the dark web. Financial account information and health information are usually the highest sellers on criminal sites, which is why the number of medical facilities being hacked has risen so dramatically over time.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
There are many resources available to people affected by data breaches, identity theft, or other cyber security incidents. Entire companies are dedicated to educating people on cybersecurity (like us!) and helping keep them safe. You can look at some of our other posts and learn more about cyber safety and the steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. MRHS also set up a helpline for victims of the breach that will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm.