Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Perimeter

12/29/2017
01:45 PM
50%
50%

21st Century Oncology Faces $2.3M HIPAA Settlement Cost after Breach

Company to pay US Department of Health and Human Services over potential HIPAA violations after patient medical data was stolen by cyberthieves.

21st Century Oncology and the US Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights reached a $2.3 million settlement agreement, following a breach of the company's network SQL database and theft of the medical data and Social Security numbers of millions of patients.

The breach at the company, which provides cancer care and radiation oncology services, is believed to have occurred as early as October 3, 2015, when attackers gained access to a remote desktop protocol from an exchange server within the company's network. The attackers were then able to access 2.2 million patient medical records and Social Security numbers, according to the Health and Human Services (HHS) department.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) notified 21st Century Oncology of the breach in 2015, after an FBI informant had illegally obtained the patient data from an unauthorized third party.

An investigation by the HHS Office of Civil Rights (OCR) determined that 21st Century Oncology did the following:

  • Failed to conduct an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the electronic protected health information.
  • Failed to implement security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level.
  • Failed to implement procedures to regularly review records of information system activity, such as audit logs, access reports, and security incident tracking reports.
  • Failed to have a written business associate agreement before disclosing protected health information to third-party vendors.

As part of the company's settlement agreement, which is designed to address potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Privacy and Security Rules, 21st Century Oncology will develop a comprehensive correction action plan that will include risk analysis and risk management, workforce education on policies and procedures, and an internal monitoring plan, HHS announced. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in May, received approval of the HHS OCR settlement from the bankruptcy court on December 11.

Read more about the settlement here.

Dark Reading's Quick Hits delivers a brief synopsis and summary of the significance of breaking news events. For more information from the original source of the news item, please follow the link provided in this article. View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
RyanSepe
50%
50%
RyanSepe,
User Rank: Ninja
12/30/2017 | 11:10:29 AM
Least Privilege
This is a scenario that represents a blatent disregard for least privilege. By correctly honing the account permissions, you could have restricted the access to RDP for ALL outside of server/endpoint administrators. Not only that but this could ensure that only users with administrative DB access could grep the information from the SQL database. 
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 11/19/2020
How to Identify Cobalt Strike on Your Network
Zohar Buber, Security Analyst,  11/18/2020
New Proposed DNS Security Features Released
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  11/19/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win an Amazon Gift Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: A GONG is as good as a cyber attack.
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-20803
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
A user authorized to perform database queries may trigger denial of service by issuing specially crafted queries, which loop indefinitely in mathematics processing while retaining locks. This issue affects: MongoDB Inc. MongoDB Server v4.0 versions prior to 4.0.5; v3.6 versions prior to 3.6.10; v3.4...
CVE-2019-14586
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
Use after free vulnerability in EDK II may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege, information disclosure and/or denial of service via adjacent access.
CVE-2019-14587
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
Logic issue EDK II may allow an unauthenticated user to potentially enable denial of service via adjacent access.
CVE-2020-0569
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
Out of bounds write in Intel(R) PROSet/Wireless WiFi products on Windows 10 may allow an authenticated user to potentially enable denial of service via local access.
CVE-2020-12351
PUBLISHED: 2020-11-23
Improper input validation in BlueZ may allow an unauthenticated user to potentially enable escalation of privilege via adjacent access.