Tag: healthcare sector
A recent postbox theft at a GP surgery in Norwich has demonstrated the sometimes unexpected forms that data crime can come in. In late May, Hellesdon Medical Practice is understood to have informed its patients that a postbox had been stolen by an unknown person, causing a severe data breach due to the private correspondence it contained.
Data security incidents like this may be relatively small in scale compared to the huge cyberattacks affecting large companies in the digital age, but they still have the potential to severely impact the victims. The Hellesdon Medical Practice data breach also raises questions about how we can ensure the security of documents sent in the post, particularly when we don’t have the benefit of firewalls and encryption, as we often do in digital data transfer.
Any data exposure incidents involving physical records should be treated with the seriousness they deserve, as they can still constitute a breach of data protection law. Where a third-party data controller fails to effectively protect your information, you could be eligible to claim compensation for the harm caused.
NHS CCTV cameras have reportedly been embroiled in a hack affecting security footage across the globe, after security company Verkada is understood to have been breached by hackers. It is said that live streams for as many as 150,000 Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras may have been viewed by unauthorised users.
Serving organisations include prisons, general businesses, schools and even psychiatric hospitals. The breach of Verkada’s cameras may have exposed the identities of many people working in, living in, or visiting affected institutions.
It is unclear exactly which feeds hackers may have viewed and what they gleaned from the footage, but it is nevertheless worrying to learn that a security firm has been subjected to such a wide-reaching breach. There is currently no evidence that any NHS camera feeds were viewed by hackers, but Verkada lists the NHS as one of its clients on the company website. Hackers have also claimed that they have been able to access the cameras of any of the affected organisations.
A woman has recently reported receiving the coronavirus test result of another unknown woman, reportedly sent in a text message by the NHS. Not only did the text reveal the negative test status of the unknown woman, it is understood that it also listed her full name, birth date and the result of her test. The recipient of the message has expressed concern that such a data breach was allowed to occur, particularly given that she took a coronavirus test in early January.
Concerns about data privacy have been linked to the Test and Trace system since its beginnings, with several data breach incidents linked to the scheme, including a major error by Public Health Wales. It is concerning that data privacy has fallen short on occasions in the effort to control the Covid-19 outbreak, especially given that mistakes such as misdirected texts can be so easily avoided.
The Test and Trace system may be designed to protect public health, but that does not mean data breaches like this can go unnoticed.
Hospitals and doctors’ surgeries host visits from large numbers of patients every day, and are treated as places of safety and refuge for those with health issues. Unfortunately, despite the fact that patient-doctor confidentiality is a principle at the heart of the medical profession, some hospitals and healthcare sector organisations are letting down the patients who trust them by failing to protect private data.
We constantly hear how much strain the NHS is under, but the lack of resources and staff is not often seen from the perspective of cybersecurity and data protection. In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, NHS staff were put under even greater pressure to meet the demands of controlling the virus and, in some cases, data protection has been further neglected.
It is essential that healthcare organisations see data protection as a high priority, or they risk exposing patient data, as has already been the case in many previous healthcare data breaches. Whether it is a case of government funding or internal organisational issues, all healthcare organisations must step up and meet the challenge of the ongoing, and increasing, cybersecurity risks that they face.
With so many NHS employees and resources devoted to suppressing the spread of Covid-19, data security concerns have inadvertently been pushed to one side by healthcare organisations in 2020 in some cases.
It is believed that cybercriminals took advantage of this gap in data protection by launching more attacks on hospitals and other public health organisations. Meanwhile, human error has continued to be a contributing factor, causing several notable healthcare breaches in 2020 also.
The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly laid bare the security risks faced by healthcare organisations. Though cyberattack attempts have likely increased during the Covid-19 crisis, healthcare organisations have always been prime targets for cybercriminals, given the sensitivity of the information they hold. As such, the same risks will confront them in the years to come if changes are not made.
We have witnessed first-hand the damage that can be caused by data breaches in our support for the victims. Anyone who has suffered the effects of healthcare data breaches, or any other kind of data breach, may be able to claim compensation for the harm caused.
A health data breach can have substantial repercussions, both for the healthcare organisation involved and the victims affected. As human error mistakes continue to be made internally, the external cybersecurity threat for healthcare organisations has been reported to be on the rise, meaning that there is immense pressure for these organisations to step up their data protection policies.
The sophistication of modern-day cybercrime simply allows no room for error when it comes to data protection. Unfortunately, as leading specialists in data breach law, we see the same mistakes being made time and time again, which is why we believe it is important to hold organisations to account when they fail to protect personal data.
If you have been caused distress or loss by a health data breach, do not hesitate to contact us for advice on your potential claim.
The duty of patient confidentiality is a tenet of medical practice, meaning that all doctors must keep patient information private as a matter of professional duty. Unfortunately, data breaches by hospitals undermine this key responsibility, often through simple administrative errors or data handling mistakes.
However minor the initial misstep is, the repercussions can still be severe when patient or employee data is exposed, which is why healthcare organisations must be held accountable for breaches of data protection law. We know the stress and anxiety data breach victims can suffer, which is why we work hard to claim compensation on behalf of those affected. Although a compensation pay-out cannot undo the harm inflicted on victims, it can help them to know that justice has been done.
Data breach compensation amounts for these kinds of cases can be high given the severity of the impact.
As governments and healthcare organisations strive to suppress COVID-19, the main numbers being counted are those of transmission rates. At the same time, data breach incidents may be rising in number without the attention their severity merits as well. In mid-2020, the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and its American counterpart, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), warned of the dangers of cyberattacks hitting healthcare organisations during the pandemic, given the immense strain which was already stretching their time and resources. With coronavirus prioritised, it may be that only time will tell what the true cost of these healthcare data breach spikes will be.
Through the data breach incidents of the past few years, many healthcare organisations have shown that they are poorly equipped to protect personal data. Whether the data breach consists of an accidental email or a large-scale cyberattack, the effects can be severe for the victims, and may put the organisation involved in breach of the law.
As leading specialists in data breach law, we help victims to claim compensation when their right to proper data protection has been breached. Contact us for free, no-obligation advice if you think you may have a claim.
Containing some of the most sensitive information we may ever disclose to a third party, our medical records require substantial protection, as all personal data does. Unfortunately, health organisations can be prime targets for hackers because of the value of this sensitive data, a problem that is often exacerbated by the failure of these organisations to implement sufficient cybersecurity methods. As a result, cybercriminals may be circulating countless medical records on the dark web, and victims need to know what to do.
If a third-party organisation fails to protect your personal data, in can be very difficult to prevent yourself from being exposed to the dangers of cybercrime. Because a data breach can come with a significant financial and emotional cost, the law can entitle you to claim compensation for the harm caused.
As leading, specialists in data breach law, we aim to help all victims who come to us to achieve the justice they deserve where we can. Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any enquiries about making a data breach claim.
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, therefore, be 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 could mean that you may be entitled to claim compensation in the event that your data has been exposed. For free, no-obligation advice, contact us today to talk to a member of our specialist data breach team.