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
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-9651
Published: 2015-08-28
Buffer overflow in CHICKEN 4.9.0.x before 4.9.0.2, 4.9.x before 4.9.1, and before 5.0 allows attackers to have unspecified impact via a positive START argument to the "substring-index[-ci] procedures."

CVE-2015-1171
Published: 2015-08-28
Stack-based buffer overflow in GSM SIM Utility (aka SIM Card Editor) 6.6 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code via a long entry in a .sms file.

CVE-2015-2987
Published: 2015-08-28
Type74 ED before 4.0 misuses 128-bit ECB encryption for small files, which makes it easier for attackers to obtain plaintext data via differential cryptanalysis of a file with an original length smaller than 128 bits.

CVE-2015-6266
Published: 2015-08-28
The guest portal in Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) 3300 1.2(0.899) does not restrict access to uploaded HTML documents, which allows remote attackers to obtain sensitive information from customized documents via a direct request, aka Bug ID CSCuo78045.

CVE-2015-6267
Published: 2015-08-28
Cisco IOS XE before 2.2.3 on ASR 1000 devices allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service (Embedded Services Processor crash) via a crafted L2TP packet, aka Bug IDs CSCsw95722 and CSCsw95496.

Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Another Black Hat is in the books and Dark Reading was there. Join the editors as they share their top stories, biggest lessons, and best conversations from the premier security conference.