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More than a Million Dental Patients in the US Have Become Victims of Data Breach
The year 2020 has been a year of disasters. It would be difficult to think about a week in the year that has not brought in any bad news. The newspaper templates used around the globe during this catastrophic year have only been about gloom and blues.
We have faced everything from pandemics, natural calamities, political wars, and more. Now, we have come to know that people in the United States have become victims of a serious data breach.
Dental Care Alliance, the Victim
Recently, a US healthcare provider notified that the personal information of over one million patients in their database has been exposed due to an unforeseen cyber-attack. On October 11, 2020, an organization called Dental Care Alliance found that some unscrupulous people have hacked into their online database. According to them, the hack started around a month back, September 18, to be more precise.
However, Dental Care Alliance (DCA), a company based out of Sarasota, Florida didn’t take much time to take the situation under control. By October 13 i.e. within two days of discovering the incident, they managed to hold the attack.
However, according to the experts dealing with the issue, by the time they managed to contain the hack, the damage was already done. They feel that the attackers might have gained access to confidential data of a large number of patients. Patient information the hackers might have access to include names, contact information like phone numbers and addresses, information on their dental diagnoses and treatments, bank details of patients, billing information, health insurance data, etc.
How DCA Is Handling the Matter?
DCA’s general counsel Dave Quigley informed that they have informed every relevant regulatory body about the incident. Additionally, they have also sent a letter to every single patient on their database to notify them about the breach. This means they have contacted as many as 1,004,304 individuals. They managed to finish the process within the month of November, which is really commendable.
One question that Quigley had to answer in almost all his interviews post the cyber-attack is why DCA didn’t use any remediation services like credit monitoring. He replied that he never found any particular evidence that suggested that their patients’ personal information might be used for spiteful purposes.
Quigley confirmed that he and his team are still putting in their best efforts to ensure that none of the patients faces any issue due to the hack. According to him, the experts at DCA will keep supporting the impacted people even in the future.
The Magnitude of the Impact
The good news is that the hackers couldn’t gain access to the sensitive data of too many patients. For instance, they could see the bank account details of just 10% of all affected individuals.
However, this incident should serve as the warning bell for all organizations that don’t have any specific precautions in place for preventing cyber-attacks.
To conclude, we would like to note that this is not the first time dental patients are affected by a cyber-attack. Around 10 months back, the IT firm Complete Technology Solutions became the victim of a ransomware attack. The attack stopped the staff of as many as 100 dental clinics in the US from accessing patient information.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes