PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — A health care service provider in Portsmouth is the latest victim of a data security breach.
The Hampton Roads Community Health Center said someone got access to their digital files and patients’ personal information may have been compromised.
The center said the incident happened back in December. It’s not clear how many people are potentially affected.
HRCHC said it contacted police and the FBI as soon as it became aware of the breach on Dec. 17.
It’s not known who was behind the attack but personal information like names, birth dates, and even medical conditions may have been accessed. The center said in some cases, social security numbers, driver license numbers, addresses and credit card information could potentially be in the wrong hands.
“That information is worth a whole lot more money. Those records might be worth $25-$50 per record,” said Jeri Prophet.
Prophet owns IntellectTechs, an information technology service company in Virginia Beach. She said data breaches happen every day.
“Most of the time, it’s not a person. It’s an application,” Prophet said. “You don’t have to be a skilled cyber attacker anymore. You can pay a small fee, go out and download these malware payloads and you can launch them just by reading some directions.”
It’s not clear how long the servers were accessed before the breach was noticed. The health center said it has encrypted and upgraded company servers following the attack.
Prophet said companies can follow some simple steps to lower the risk of being breached.
“Always making sure that you’re constantly updating,” she said. “Not just a password these days, I mean just a single sign-on, that’s no longer ample. Most companies are now making you do the multi-factor authentication where you have a password, you have a pin,”
The center said there’s no indication that any information has been misused at this point, but it is encouraging people to keep an eye on their bank accounts and credit reports.
People with questions about the breach can contact the assistance line at (844) 547-2427 (toll free).
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