Data Breaches Reported by Texas ENT Specialists and Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

by | Dec 21, 2021 | Compliance News

Texas Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists P.A. (Texas ENT Specialists) has reported it experienced a cyberattack that was discovered on October 19, 2021.

As soon as the attack was discovered, quick action was undertaken to avoid further access to the network by unauthorized persons. A third-party cybersecurity company was involved to investigate and identify the nature and scope of the cyberattack. The forensic investigation showed that the attackers initially obtained access to its systems on August 9, 2021, and from then on until August 15, they copied and extracted files from its network.

An analysis of those files established they included the protected health information (PHI) of 535,489 individuals, such as names, birth dates, procedure codes, and health record numbers. A subset of people additionally had their Social Security numbers compromised; nevertheless, its electronic medical record system was not affected.

Texas ENT Specialists sent notification letters to affected persons on December 10, 2021. Patients whose Social Security numbers were compromised were given a free membership to Experian’s identity theft monitoring service.

Texas ENT Specialists reported that it has increased its privacy and data security program and has put in place more technical security procedures to better secure and keep an eye on its systems.

Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services Experiences Second Funding Portal Breach

The Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services (DBHDS) is informing 4,037 people who tried for Individual and Family Support Program (IFSP) financial assistance that their PHI might have been impermissibly exposed. The breach impacted its IFSP Funding Website and took place on October 7, 2021. The breach was noticed in just minutes and the site was promptly taken off the internet to avert continuing unauthorized data access.

In 2019, DBHDS suffered a breach of its IFSP funding webpage that exposed the records of 1,442 persons. In the following 17 months, the internal team and the Virginia Information Technology Agency (VITA) reviewed the attack and tried to duplicate and fix the problem. Considerable testing of the Portal was carried out, and it was confirmed the Portal was clear to run once again. The newest breach looks a lot like the 2019 occurrence and might likewise have made possible the viewing of information by other individuals.

DBHDS mentioned it won’t make an effort to fix the Portal once more, and an alternate solution may be determined for future IFSP application processes. Persons whose application data were compromised could register for zero-cost credit monitoring services for two years.

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