Data Breach of Tampa Bay Surgery Center Potentially Affects Over One Hundred Thousand People

Media Division | July 20, 2017

Organizations of all types and sizes are frequently struck by cyber attacks and data breaches resulting in disastrous consequences, but some industries tend to be targeted more heavily than others. One of the industries within the top 3 targeted is healthcare, which is typically because of the wide range of personal and sensitive information that they can store. This data can be extremely valuable for attackers, as they can use it for a wide range of malicious purposes. In a recent incident regarding a healthcare organization, the Tampa Bay Surgery Center has suffered a data breach that may have exposed thousands of individual’s sensitive personal information.

The Discovery of the Breach

Tampa Bay Surgery Center was first made aware of the security incident on May 5th, as it was discovered that an unauthorized third party had posted some patient information upon a public file sharing site. The center was informed by law enforcement that the data had been posted a day earlier. A Twitter account linked to a hacking group called TheDarkOverlord had claimed to be behind the posting of the information. According to reports, the file has since been removed from the site, and there is currently an ongoing investigation into the incident. There has been somewhat mixed information as to the exact number of people affected, as some reports have said around 28,000 and others have said 142,000. The breach included sensitive information like patient names, dates of birth, addresses, and even Social Security Numbers. All of this can, of course, be extremely dangerous in the hands of someone with malicious intent, as it can be used for several types of fraud and identity theft. Though, according to Tampa Bay Surgery Center, they do not believe that there is any reason to suspect that the information has been misused, and they also said that no procedure or medical information was released online.

While the information exposed was quite sensitive, it appears that the surgery center is being meticulous in handling the breach. Of course, they have the current ongoing investigation to discover any further detail of the breach. But, they have also sent letters to those potentially affected to notify them of the breach, as well as provide advisement on protecting their data moving forward. As a further measure, they are providing affected patients with identity theft protection services at no cost. The center has said that they have and are continuing to adjust processes to prevent another incident in the future. It is beneficial that the center is taking these actions to handle the breach and protect their affected patients, as anything less could lead to further damage down the road.

Mitigating an Incident with Data Breach Solutions

As damaging breaches like the above continue to occur in our modern age, it is vital that organizations are able to react quickly to an incident. An organization needs to be able to quickly and effectively apply data breach solutions to prevent an incident from resulting in further detriment. It is important to have fortified security implements in place to ideally prevent a breach from ever occurring, but an organization also needs to have a plan of action for the event of a successful attack or breach. When they do not, it can leave them scrambling and unsure what to do, which simply extends the amount of time to address it. There are several actions that need to be taken in the event of a breach, such as handling the initial vulnerability, removing data from the web, tracing the perpetrator and pursuing any further action against them. Data breach solutions from Massive Alliance can help an organization to mitigate an incident to the highest extent.

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