EyeMed Data Breach Penalty Reaches 4.5 Million Dollars

  • By Steven
  • Nov 10, 2022

eyedmed data breach

Ohio vision company EyeMed is facing the consequences of breaches in 2020. The State Attorney General of New York, Attorney General Letitia James, reached a settlement with the company over two years after the attack.

How Did the Attack Occur?

The attack occurred when a threat actor gained unauthorized access to an employee's email in June 2020. The breach lasted for approximately a week. Then, a month later, the hacker sent over 2,000 phishing emails to EyeMed clients, which prompted the company to finally remove the bad actor's access. EyeMed began to notify affected patients in September 2020.

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

What information do you usually provide when you go to the doctor's office? Most people offer their names, social security numbers (SSNs), ages, health insurance, previous diagnoses, current and former medications, etc. The hacker(s) accessed all this and more, leaving the customers in peril. Most people need to know that you don't have to give this information to your doctor; you only have to tell your doctor's office your name, insurance data, your preferred method of contact, current medications, and personal and familial medical history. Your doctor may ask for more information regarding relationship status, mental health, and other essential things for them to know. 

Still, one common mistake many people make is giving their SSNs freely. You need your SSN for taxes, insurance, and loans, but you only have to provide a doctor with your SSN if you're entering a VA hospital

How Did EyeMed Admit to the Breach?

EyeMed admitted to the breach by sending notification letters to the affected patients almost four months after the initial breach. Afterward, James' office filed the order with approximately 90,000 New York residents affected by the breach. "Upon further investigation, the Department found that, among other things, EyeMed had violated the Department's cybersecurity regulation by failing to implement multi-factor authentication ("MFA") throughout its email environment," stated the New York State's press release. "Moreover, EyeMed failed to limit user access privileges by allowing nine employees to share login credentials to the affected email mailbox and failed to implement sufficient data retention and disposal processes, resulting in over six years' worth of consumer data being accessible through the affected email mailbox. Had these controls been in place, the July 1, 2020 cybersecurity event could have been prevented or been limited in scope." 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

The information involved in the breach is sensitive; billions of records are stolen every year, and every time, more and more people are being victimized. Practically no one that uses the internet is safe from hackers anymore. There are tons of attacks that the hacker can use. Still, there is also the possibility that they will sell the data, which means that an unprecedented number of malicious actors will have unrelenting access to your data.

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

In the aftermath of the breach, we recommend you take every possible precaution—download scanning software to alert you to scams, unsafe sites, and malware on your devices. Maintain a steady eye on your credit reports and things like it, making sure there are no unauthorized purchases and that your credit score doesn't suddenly turn for the worse.

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