Rhode Island UHIP Breach Affects an Estimated 5,600 Individuals

Media Division | April 14, 2017

The Rhode Island Unified Health Infrastructure Program (UHIP) is a system implemented within the state that was designed to facilitate services to those receiving benefits such as Medicaid and food stamps.  Unfortunately, it has had several different issues since its launch back in September.  The most recent one being that there was a personal data breach of around 5,600 individuals due to a file containing personal data being uploaded to two state websites.

The file was posted to the state’s General Assembly and Transparency Portal websites.  Once the mistake was discovered earlier this month, the file was then immediately removed.  According to officials, they are collaborating with Deloitte Consulting to determine what caused the breach.  Deloitte is the technology vendor that is building the UHIP system.  It is estimated that around 5,600 individual’s personal information was affected by the breach, though there are currently no reports of the data being misused.  As a precaution, officials say they are offering free credit monitoring services for a year to the customers.

Not the First Time

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that there has been a breach of UHIP, and it is actually the third time now.  The first breach was when personal information of those who accessed their accounts from shared computers was potentially exposed, and the second was when it was discovered that data from 1095B tax forms may have been disclosed.  As mentioned above, there have been several other issues with the system as well aside from data breaches. This had led to the governor apologizing for the issues, as well as a lawsuit between the state and ALCU in regard to the delay of food stamp benefits.  Repetitive issues like this show an extremely lackadaisical approach to cyber security and handling of personal information.  Negligent security and behavior such as this can factually be the downfall of organizations, and while this obviously would not be the case with the Rhode Island government, it could easily be the downfall of UHIP.  There is no room for the negligence of security in our modern age of high technology and massive numbers of threats and attackers looking to expose and compromise our systems.

Beginning Reparations with Data Breach Solutions

A single breach can factually cause so much damage to an organization that they could tank.  This situation becomes even more likely when an organization does not take all of the appropriate steps to address and handle a breach.  The damages of a breach extend beyond data and financial loss into the loss of customer trust and reputation, which in turn can cause much further long term damage.  An organization or institution must display to their public that they are taking steps to remediate the breach and ensure that their data is properly protected once again.  A breach can easily cause loss of customers or clients, but improper handling can cause even further loss of them, even those who have been with a company for years.  This is why an organization must immediately begin data breach solutions when addressing the incident to be able to come back from it.  There are many steps that need to be taken in the event of a breach, including handling the immediate security hole and beginning long-term remediation.  Massive Alliance’s data breach solutions can help an organization to recover and eventually thrive after a breach.

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