JDC reports new findings that a data breach impacts over 1M patients
by Sara Nguyen
JDC reports new findings that a data breach last year impacted over 1M patients. JDC Healthcare Management operates over 70 Jefferson Dental & Orthodontics clinics. An updated report of a significant data breach to the Attorney General of Texas’ office reveals the exposure of over one million patients’ protected health information (PHI). Previously, JDC reported to the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) that the data breach affected 501 patients.
According to a notice of the data incident from October 2021, JDC noticed malware infiltrated its computer systems on or around August 9, 2021. Consequently, JDC reported that it was ” immediately working to restore its systems.” Now, JDC reports new findings that a data breach impacts over 1M patients.
The dental organization collaborated with third-party computer forensics specialists. The investigation discovered that documents potentially containing PHI were leaked during July and August 2021 . Unfortunately, the exposed information includes:
- Clinical information
- Social Security numbers
- Driver’s license numbers
- Dates of birth
- Health insurance information
- Financial information
The breach affects over one million patients
The original report from October 2021 states that the breach impacted 501 patients. However, the latest information to the Texas attorney general lists over one million patients affected. Notably, there is no addendum for this data breach incident from the OCR.
JDC Healthcare Management responds to the situation
“Upon learning of this incident, we moved quickly to investigate and respond to this incident, assess the security of our systems, restore functionality to our environment, and notify potentially affected individuals,” said the dental organization in its data incident notice.
“As part of JDC’s ongoing commitment to the security of information, we are reviewing and enhancing existing policies and procedures to reduce the likelihood of a similar future event and have reported this incident to law enforcement.”
JDC recommends affected patients review their credit reports for potential identity theft and fraud. However, JDC is not providing free credit monitoring or identity theft protection services.
How can healthcare organizations protect themselves?
JDC has not confirmed the cause of the malware. However, emails are usually a top threat vector to healthcare companies. Malicious emails like phishing emails are common entry points that a cybercriminal exploits. On the other hand, human error is often at fault for letting malware into a system.
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