Utah Department of Health faces second data breach in one year

Data and security breaches can be detrimental to many businesses. Not only is the company at risk to lose customers, any organization that exposes sensitive information could face heavy fines for not taking proper precautions.

Even if a stolen or lost device is not used for criminal purposes, a business experiences a breach in security the moment an item is no longer in its possession. While no company owner can predict when something like this might happen, ensuring that a comprehensive technology insurance policy is in place will be beneficial.

For the second time in one year, the Utah Department of Health is facing scrutiny for experiencing a data breach. According to a UDOH statement, an employee of an outside contractor lost an unencrypted USB memory stick containing personal information for 6,000 Medicaid clients.

The device included the names, ages and identification numbers of Medicaid recipients, as well as a recent history of prescription drug use. However, Social Security numbers and financial information was reported to not be stored on the memory stick.

"We have no reason to believe the data were targeted by anyone to be used for malicious purposes," UDOH deputy director Michael Hales, said in a statement. "Nevertheless, we understand the anxiety this will likely cause, and want clients to know we are taking all reasonable precautions to ensure the missing data cannot be used to harm individual clients or defraud the Medicaid program."

The first data breach occurred last March, when Eastern European hackers gained access to healthcare information for close to 780,000 Medicaid patients in Utah. That time, Social Security numbers for 280,000 beneficiaries were compromised.

Partnering with commercial insurance specialists can help businesses across multiple industries prepare for cyber threats or for the possibility of lost devices containing sensitive information.

 

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