Health care provider hacked, millions at risk of identity theft

Health care provider hacked, millions at risk of identity theft

A CNN Money report has indicated that almost 5 million health care patients of the Community Health Care system are in danger of having their identities stolen after a huge hacking attack that originated in China stole all their data.. The system has patients from Pennsylvania to Florida, all through the south and up the west coast to Washington state.

Long-term patients affected
Officials with the company said they were able to track the hack to occurring between April and June, and the FBI told CNN Money that this hacking ring has been traced to corporate espionage and sabotage. In this instance, however, they were looking for patient data. No credit card or medical records were found to be stolen, according to reports, but the affected patients go back 5 years, said provider sources. However, because personal patient data and information is protected under the United States' HIPAA laws, Community Health Care could be facing a number of lawsuits from those patients whose data was compromised or hacked. While claiming to have identified, removed and re-protected their data, how can the company protect itself in the future from any type of data center incursion?

New biometric technology
​As hackers and criminals with malicious intent get better equipment, so too do software developers work to stay ahead of the technological curve. Biometric security is one such accomplishment that can help protect the physical assets of a company and its data center. By employing a technique called fingerprint scanning, a business' security team can effectively bar any unauthorized intrusion into a data center. Scanning employee fingerprints into a template data base creates an unduplicable identifier of each worker. When that staff member needs to access the data center, they place their finger on a fingerprint reader which transmits the data into the system. If the print matches, the employee walks through. If not, there's no access granted and security teams will take the person into custody for questioning.

By employing fingerprint scanning technology a company can ensure that their data will be safe and protected from internal and external threats. There's no word on whether Community Health Care was utilizing such technology as the investigation is too fresh but the company, which has 11 hospitals in Alabama alone, told WHNT-TV in Alabama, that it will offer identity theft protection to all the 4.5 million patients who are affected by this latest breach to a large data center.

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