Risk
12/7/2010
07:35 PM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

California Does Health Care Data Breaches Right

Since this spring, the California Department of Public Health has fined 12 health facilities about $1.5 million as a result of data breaches. Let's hope they keep fining organizations that fail to properly protect patient data.

Since this spring, the California Department of Public Health has fined 12 health facilities about $1.5 million as a result of data breaches. Let's hope they keep fining organizations that fail to properly protect patient data.If you've been reading my posts long enough, you know that I consider health care data breaches much worse on consumers that credit card breaches. With credit card breaches most users are held liable for $50 - if that - and fraudulent transactions can be cleaned up pretty quickly. Not always so with private health care data - once confidential information is spilled onto the Internet, it can't be put back into the bottle. Friends, co-workers, family members, and potential employers may forever know what was supposed to be kept confidential.

That's why when clicking through my normal blog and news reading last night, I was happy to read the post California Department of Public Health Continues to Fine Hospitals and Nursing Homes for Data Breaches that detailed the million and a half in fines as a result of Californian Health and Safety Code 1280.15(a) that requires health facilities to properly protect patient data:

Violations of this requirement can result in penalties of up to $25,000 per patient and up to $17,500 per subsequent occurrences of unlawful or unauthorized access, use or disclosure of that patients medical information.

In its most recent wave of penalties, announced November 19, 2010, CDPH assessed fines totaling $792,500 against six hospitals and one nursing home that it determined failed to prevent unauthorized access to confidential patient medical information. In one case, a health facility was fined $310,000:

$60,000 because the facility failed to prevent unauthorized access and disclosure of one patient's medical information by two employees on three occasions.

$250,000 because the facility failed to prevent the theft of 596 patients' medical information

Not only does California have this consumer protection law on their books, they're actively enforcing it. So, just as California set an important path with SB 1383 in 2003 - which sent into motion the legislatures in most states to follow suit - let's hope the state is setting another example that many more states will emulate.

For my security and technology observations throughout the day, follow me on Twitter.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading December Tech Digest
Experts weigh in on the pros and cons of end-user security training.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-7178
Published: 2014-11-28
Enalean Tuleap before 7.5.99.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via the User-Agent header, which is provided to the passthru PHP function.

CVE-2014-7850
Published: 2014-11-28
Cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerability in the Web UI in FreeIPA 4.x before 4.1.2 allows remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via vectors related to breadcrumb navigation.

CVE-2014-8423
Published: 2014-11-28
Unspecified vulnerability in the management portal in ARRIS VAP2500 before FW08.41 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary commands via unknown vectors.

CVE-2014-8424
Published: 2014-11-28
ARRIS VAP2500 before FW08.41 does not properly validate passwords, which allows remote attackers to bypass authentication.

CVE-2014-8425
Published: 2014-11-28
The management portal in ARRIS VAP2500 before FW08.41 allows remote attackers to obtain credentials by reading the configuration files.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Now that the holiday season is about to begin both online and in stores, will this be yet another season of nonstop gifting to cybercriminals?