Private Information May Have Been Compromised in Community College Health Clinic Cyber Attack

Media Division | March 21, 2017

There can be a wide variety of personal information contained within an organization’s networks and systems.  Cyber technology has become an integral part of daily operations in a majority of organizations all over the world.  Protecting this data is a top priority, as cyber attackers are always looking for ways to compromise and obtain this information for malicious purposes.  Such is the case in a recently discovered cyber attack upon the Lane Community College Health Clinic, in which private information may have been jeopardized.

The Details of the Attack

Staff had discovered a virus on one of the clinic computers during a routine check in February.  A number of personal details may have been shared to a third party by the virus, including names, dates of birth, and even social security numbers of those who had used the clinic between March of 2016 and February of 2017.  According to vice president of college services Brian Kelly, there is currently no evidence that any information was shared, and LCC is working with security experts to upgrade their systems.  It is suspected that the virus came through an email message or web search.  Kelly had stated, “It’s disheartening to be targeted by a cyber-attack. It’s the first time it’s happened to the clinic, but unfortunately, it’s not the first time for the health care industry.”

The personal information that was potentially compromised can be used for a wide range of illicit activities.  Some of the larger concerns being that these details could be employed to steal a person’s identity, or perform credit card fraud.

Targeting of the Healthcare Industry

Kelly is absolutely correct in this statement, as the healthcare industry tends to be one of the largest targets for cyber attackers.  There are a range of illicit gains to be had from cyber attacks upon healthcare organizations.  A cyber attacker could steal patient records, employ ransomware to extort funds, as well as other malicious purposes.  This year alone, there have been various cyber attacks on healthcare organizations, such as Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, and several NHS institutions in Europe.  There was also a multitude of high impact incidents last year, including a cyber attack on Banner Health, in which around 3.7 million patient’s information may have been affected.  In fact, according to TrapX Labs, cyber attacks impacting healthcare institutions had increased by 63% in 2016, and there was a total of 93 major attacks last year.  They also said, “The data also shows sophisticated cyber attackers are now responsible for 31.42 percent of all major HIPAA data breaches reported in 2016, which is a 300 percent increase in the last three years.”

Maintaining Cyber Security to Prevent Cyber Attacks

Healthcare is of course not the only industry that has been widely affected by cyber attacks.  In fact, hackers continue to increasingly target organizations of all types and sizes.  The various attacks employed upon different industries have become much more adept and sophisticated, which is why cyber security has grown into a larger priority.  A single cyber attack can result in massive losses of money and data, as well as reputational and trust damage.  Employing proper and comprehensive cyber security is a necessity for organizations to be able to prevent cyber attacks.  There are many different tools and implementations that organizations can employ to fortify security.  Massive Alliance provides a wide range of cyber security services to help an organization prevent cyber attacks.

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