Medical Records Encrypted

A laboratory in Florida was breached by ransomware exposing the personal health information (PHI) of more than 30,000 patients. On May 19, 2021, Nationwide Laboratory Services, located in Boca Raton, discovered suspicious activity on its network. The attackers used ransomware to encrypt files across the healthcare provider’s network, making the content inaccessible. A cybersecurity company was hired to investigate the breach and assist with remediation.

The cybercriminals who conducted the ransomware breach encrypted files containing patient data including names, dates of birth, lab test results, medical record numbers, Medicare numbers, and health insurance information. Nationwide Laboratory Services issued a warning about the security incident stating that a small number of people had their Social Security numbers affected. The lab explained that not all of Nationwide’s patients were affected by the cyber-attack and the data exposed differed from patient to patient. Additionally, the laboratory stated that there’s no evidence that any information from Nationwide was or will be used for any unintended purpose.

On October 28, Nationwide submitted their report about the breach to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office for Civil Rights. Based on the report, 33,437 individuals had their personal health information exposed. Nationwide notified the patients affected by the breach and provided them with best practices in protecting their information. Additionally, Nationwide urged the individuals impacted to remain alert for potential identity theft and check their financial account statements regularly for any fraudulent activity. In addition to encrypting numerous Nationwide files, the cyber-criminals behind the laboratory attack potentially deleted files from their victim’s network.

Healthcare organizations are critical and modern medicine increasingly relies on information system security and confidentiality. However, as with the recent attack on Nationwide Laboratory Services, disasters are likely to occur and cause massive disruptions to the healthcare industry. Healthcare organizations and ministries are facing significant cybersecurity challenges as they increasingly rely on technology to provide the best possible care to their patients. With SpearTip, our 24/7 certified engineers at our three Security Operations Centers monitor any threats and quickly respond to ensure that patient data is protected continuously and prevent costly disruptions from ransomware. The ShadowSpear Platform, our endpoint detection and response tool, goes to work integrating various data sources to increase security across a wide range of medical and information technology solutions.

If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Centers at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.