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The healthcare sector has long been a target for cyberattacks, and this threat can be compounded by the often-poor cybersecurity adopted by some hospitals and doctors’ practices, as well as employee errors that have brought about a number of data breaches in recent years. Health data breaches can be particularly harmful to those affected, as the personal information and medical records held by healthcare providers can, understandably, be intensely private to patients.
The problem of health data breaches appears to have exacerbated further over the past year or so. The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted a surge in cyberattacks across all kinds of organisations, but healthcare has been seen as a particularly vulnerable sector due to the increased strain brought by managing coronavirus.
Regardless of the circumstances in which a data breach occurs, there is never any excuse for healthcare organisations that have failed to protect patient and employee data. If held to account in a data breach claim, these organisations could be forced to pay out compensation to the affected victims. If you have been affected by a data breach incident and wish to seek justice, do not hesitate to contact us for free, no-obligation advice.
There are a number of cybersecurity threats facing healthcare organisations, some of which have been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. Ransomware, which was already on the rise before the virus hit, became a significant threat towards the end of 2020, with one survey suggesting that global healthcare organisations had suffered a 45% spike in attacks in the last two months of the year.
The NHS has also been subjected to criticism surrounding its processing of information in coronavirus response strategies. For example, a number of health data issues involving the Test and Trace system have occurred, with cases of test results being sent to the wrong people. In one such example, it was revealed that the NHS’s vaccine booking system had a significant security vulnerability, which allowed users to view others’ vaccine statuses by entering a few basic details.
The examples above demonstrate that our health service can be vulnerable to external security threats whilst also being responsible for its own data protection errors. Whatever the circumstances of health data breaches, victims can be eligible to claim compensation.
The law can enable victims to claim for the distress caused by a data protection breach, and for any losses or expenses that may have been incurred as a result. For example, if you fall prey to scams or fraud due to cybercriminals gaining access to your exposed information, the money lost could be reimbursed as part of your claim.
Healthcare organisations may be under strain in the current climate, but they must still abide by their data protection obligations. Those affected by health data breaches can contact us for free, no-obligation advice today on their potential eligibility to claim. We may be able to offer you No Win, No Fee representation, and you could be entitled to thousands of pounds in compensation, so do not hesitate to contact us if you think you have a claim to make.
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