Medhealth Review

Major Data Breach at Texas ENT, Around 5,35,000 Patients Were Affected

Data breaches are unlikely to end as far as the healthcare sector is concerned. The latest scam is associated with the Texas ENT. 

Massive data breach at Texas ENT has affected about 5, 35,000 patients. Texas ENT, an Austin headquartered healthcare provider confirmed a security breach that took place in August, 2021. Details were recently made public. 

The information compromised include critical data including patient names, birth dates, and in some cases, the vital Social Security Numbers. 

An unauthorized intruder hacked personal and critical data over a 6 day period between 9th to 15 August, 2021. However, the firm’s electronic medical recording system remains untouched. 

Texas ENT informed the Department of Health and Human Services about the data breach on 10th December, 21. The number of affected people makes it the biggest ever data theft for the firm in December. The affected individuals were also personally notified through e-mails, confirmed Texas ENT. 

Texas ENT also said that it is presenting identity monitoring services for free to individuals whose Social Security numbers were subjected to the breach.

“To help prevent something like this from happening again, we are further strengthening our existing privacy and information security program by implementing additional safeguards and technical security measures to protect and monitor our systems”, added Texas ENT. 

Talking about statistics, the average price of a data breach for healthcare agencies is estimated to be approximately $355, as per the Infosec Institute. The black-market price for PII and Credit card information is about $1 to $2. Yet, the PHI sells for about $363 in the black market.

PHIs are the best source of information for criminals to target individuals with scams and frauds. Further, fake insurance claims could be created using PHIs. There are many instances wherein criminals have gained illegal access to medical prescriptions for own use and even resale.

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