Health and insurance breaches – the potential dangers

large medical healthcare data breaches

Newkirk Products Inc, a company who provides ID cards for health insurance plans, revealed a data breach took place last year that allowed unauthorised access to a server that contained member information.

The server that was hacked reportedly contained the data for an estimated 3.3 million members.

Now, this is the kind of breach that can be very dangerous several years after the event. With cybercriminals known to hold on to information for future use, any victim of a data breach needs to be wary.

Newkirk issues healthcare identification cards to numerous insurance plans. Ultimately, the breach could lead to identity fraud given that criminals may have enough information to be able to impersonate a victim.

This could happen years after the event, meaning people could be at risk for a very long time indeed.

The data that may have been breached could reported include:

  • Members’ names
  • Birth dates
  • Member and group ID numbers
  • Mailing addresses
  • Names of dependants enrolled on plans
  • Types of plan held
  • Medical ID numbers
  • Invoice information

Anyone that has been affected by the data breach should have been notified by mail explaining the occurrence of the breach with an offer of compensation of two years free protection and restoration services.

A little information can go along way

Just because financial information wasn’t leaked doesn’t mean people are not at risk of having money stolen. A little information could lead to identity theft which in turn can lead to people being at risk of having their finances abused.

If a criminal had all the information listed above for one person, they may have enough to try and impersonate that individual and steal money, open credit cards in their name, or perhaps take out loans in their name. The point is that a little information can go a long way, so any breach needs to be treated as a matter if importance.

With cyberattacks on the rise, this is a real problem we all must face.

IMPORTANT: advice on this page is intended to be up-to-date for the 'first published date'.

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