The 2020 surge in ransomware healthcare attacks has highlighted how healthcare organisations have become more vulnerable to cyberattacks during the coronavirus pandemic. While many of us have turned to remote working over the past year, ransomware has long been a remote access tool for cybercriminals, allowing them to breach systems and take control of computer servers and machines from anywhere in the world.
In the UK, we constantly hear that our health service is constrained by limited resources, but few stop to consider the impact that this has on data privacy. Faced with outdated hardware and cybersecurity software in some cases, healthcare organisations could have poor defences against cyberattacks. They can be, therefore, risking the exposure of patient and employee data on a daily basis.
Every UK citizen has a right to have their personal information kept safe and secure by third-party organisations. This should mean that you may be entitled to claim compensation if your data has been exposed. For free, no-obligation advice, contact us today to talk to a member of our specialist data breach team.
Cyberattacks can be a common reason for the occurrence of data breaches, as criminals often target company databases to gain access to huge swathes of information. There is one type of attack that is particularly malicious in nature: when databases with highly sensitive data are hacked and the victims are held to ransom by cybercriminals, perhaps seeking payment in return for a vow that they will not misuse or publish the information.
These can sometimes be empty promises, placing the victims in danger whether they choose to pay up or reject the ransom. Unfortunately, poor data security of some organisations can often be the reason as to why victims end up in this defenseless position in the first place, as weaknesses in their systems could allow cybercriminals to break through.
If you have been put in a precarious situation due to a ransomware attack, we are here to advise you on your potential right to claim data breach compensation from those responsible for negligence.
One of the latest data scams to take advantage of the coronavirus pandemic are fake coronavirus vaccine texts circulating with the goal of tricking people into making a payment for a jab.
Claiming to be from the NHS, senders have been using a tried-and-tested scam method as they ask for the input of bank account details. Fraud through text or email scams is still all too common, even though the method is relatively easy for scammers. It shows just how much damage can be done with access to an email address or phone number, which are exactly the kinds of details which are often exposed in data breaches.
At Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – we are a leading firm that represent many clients who have fallen victim to fraud as a result of having their data exposed by a third-party business or organisation.
The decision to have cosmetic surgery is often something that people prefer to keep private, sometimes due to the stigma around enhancing or altering physical appearance. However, as cosmetic surgery becomes more affordable, and the types of treatments become more varied, large amounts of client information means that a cosmetic surgery data breach can represent a tempting opportunity for hackers.
The sensitivity of the information held by cosmetic clinics undoubtedly incentivises cybercriminals who are looking to misuse data for blackmail. They may believe that victims are more likely to give in to their demands to avoid any potential embarrassment from information exposure. We know how scary and precarious this situation can be, so we are able to help eligible victims to claim compensation for the exposure of cosmetic surgery data.
For the victims, data leaks often take an emotional or psychological toll, with psychiatrists in some cases reporting significant distress in their patients. As such, when a leak involves mental health data, the effects can be even more devastating as the victims may already have mental health problems or conditions.
To have an added stress on top of their day-to-day difficulties could be unbearable.
Unfortunately, data breaches at healthcare organisations hit the headlines all too frequently, suggesting that there are still wide-reaching failings in their approaches to data protection. At Your Lawyers – the Data Leak Lawyers – we appreciate that the ongoing stigma surrounding mental health issues can make the effects of such data leaks even more damaging. As a leading firm of data breach lawyers, we are here to support mental health patients who have been failed by the organisations that are supposed to ensure their safety when it comes to data and privacy.
In today’s digital world, we often expect data breaches to occur in cyber settings. However, the risk of data leaks, loss and theft involving physical records and documents is also a cause for concern, and companies still need to be vigilant in protecting their hard material information.
Incidents involving physical records can happen a lot. The all too frequent neglect of physical records is exemplified in the case of Westbury House, a Hampshire care home that closed in 2016 after being deemed an unfit care provider.
It was reportedly found to have abandoned confidential staff and patient information in the uninhabited building. The information was only proved to have been removed and secured at the start of December, 4 years after the care home’s closure. Over the course of these years, obvious negligence could have allowed trespassers to breach the building and rifle through the files. A failure of data protection such as this cannot go unnoticed.
A recent leak of patient data has called into question the data protection practices of Lloyds Pharmacy. A parcel containing the prescription records of hundreds of Lloyds pharmacy patients is believed to have been intended for an NHS recipient, but mistakenly reached a personal home 300 miles away instead.
When the unintended recipient opened the box, she was shocked at the mass of details she found, assuming they were intended for the NHS prescription services in Bolton.
While Lloyds Pharmacy has placed the blame on an external courier service who mistakenly delivered the parcel, they may not be able to sidestep their ultimate responsibility for the control and handling of their own data in accordance with the GDPR. The incident undoubtedly highlights the risks organisations take when entrusting an external party with the safety of confidential records.
According to recent media reports, a large number of psychotherapy patients, who belong to the same large clinic in Finland, found themselves on the receiving end of blackmail from a data breach.
Vastaamo, a countrywide practice, appears to have been targeted in two separate breaches, one potentially occurring in March 2019, and an initial attack as far back as November 2018. It appears that victims’ personal data was stolen from the company’s data storage system.
Although this is not a case we can represent people for, with it not being in England or Wales, it is an important one to consider. Ultimately, the risks – as we often advise – when it comes to this kind of data breach can be severe.
There is still time to make a claim in the Well Pharmacy data breach action.
In 2018, Well Pharmacy, a major pharmacy chain, was responsible for leaking the details of over 24,000 staff and locum workers, after the data was accidentally included in an email.
Since the breach, The Data Leak Lawyers has been working hard to take on claims for affected employees ever since we launched legal action in early 2019. We have been working on the action for just over two years now, and our door is still open to any claimants who have yet to come forward.
In the case of the recent Transform Hospital Group data breach, the large cosmetic surgery chain has been targeted by hackers who seem to be aiming to extort money from the company.
The group has not yet given a number for how many customers have been affected, but the data exposed is reported to be extensive. The inclusion of ‘before and after’ surgery photos has been a cause of particular concern among the victims, who fear they may be published on the internet.
For anyone involved in a data leak, the impact of having your information exposed can be devastating. In some of the worst of cases, the privacy of the information exposed can make the aftermath a deeply upsetting time. We have already taken on clients who have been affected by the Transform Hospital Group data breach, so do not hesitate to contact us if you would like advice regarding your potential compensation claim.