Nemours reports breach affecting 1.6 million individuals

Nemours, a children's health system with hospitals in Pennsylvania, Delaware, Florida and New Jersey, reported a massive breach affecting 1.6 million people, including patients, employees, and vendors. Via Health Data Management:

'On September 8, 2011, we learned that a locked tape storage cabinet containing computer backup tapes was missing,' the delivery system said in a notice to patients. 'We immediately began an investigation and now believe the cabinet was removed from our Wilmington facility on or about August 10, 2011, during a remodeling project. To date, we have been unable to locate the storage cabinet. We believe the cabinet contained three unencrypted backup tapes from a computer system we stopped using in 2004. No medical records were on the backup tapes, but they did contain patient billing information, including name, date of birth, insurance information, medical treatment information, and Social Security number.' Some employee payroll data and vendor information, such as direct deposit bank account information, also was on the tapes.

Nemours began encrypting its back up data tapes and moved its rarely-used tapes to a more secure off-site facility. The health system is offering a year's worth of credit-monitoring to affected individuals, which considering the numbers involved in this breach, could be a massive, seven-figure expense.

"Nemours Notifying 1.6 Million Individuals About Breach," Health Data Management (October 18, 2011).

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