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New Cyber Hacks Expose Vulnerabilities

New Cyber Hacks Expose Vulnerabilities

Another day, another company cyber attacked and personal information exposed. Quest Diagnostics announced in early December 2016 that one of their applications had been breached and 34,000 customers information was accessed by an unauthorized third party. This was just the latest in a long line of major health care providers such as Anthem Blue Cross and Community Health Systems. While the breach of Quest Diagnostics may be considered minor by comparison, we have learned that over time small breaches can turn into big ones. What Information Is Considered Private? Quest advised in their initial press release that the only information accessed by the hackers were name, date of birth, lab results, and in some cases phone numbers. The hacked information apparently did not include Social Security numbers, credit card or other financial information. There has also been no indication of misuse of any of the illegally obtained information. What information is considered private? While names, and even phone numbers are easily obtainable, even birth dates can be found fairly quickly. It is a relief that no Social Security numbers or financial information was obtained, but no doubt the 34,000 patients whose lab results were exposed are none too happy about it. As we have seen in prior hacking cases, in the early days of detection numbers are often under-reported. Further investigation will likely reveal that even more patients records were exposed, and that financial information may also have been accessed. The Cost to Business Cyber attacks and hacks can be costly to business. State and federal laws provide guidelines on timely notification to customers and patients of businesses when...