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

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. 
What We Talk About When We Talk About Risk
Jack Jones, Chairman, FAIR Institute,  7/11/2018
Ticketmaster Breach Part of Massive Payment Card Hacking Campaign
Jai Vijayan, Freelance writer,  7/10/2018
Major International Airport System Access Sold for $10 on Dark Web
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/11/2018
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment: Cyberspace is much less secure than my old lamp.
Current Issue
Flash Poll
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2018-6681
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-17
Abuse of Functionality vulnerability in the web interface in McAfee Network Security Management (NSM) 9.1.7.11 and earlier allows authenticated users to allow arbitrary HTML code to be reflected in the response web page via appliance web interface.
CVE-2018-13864
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-17
A directory traversal vulnerability has been found in the Assets controller in Play Framework 2.6.12 through 2.6.15 (fixed in 2.6.16) when running on Windows. It allows a remote attacker to download arbitrary files from the target server via specially crafted HTTP requests.
CVE-2018-14338
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-17
samples/geotag.cpp in the example code of Exiv2 0.26 misuses the realpath function on POSIX platforms (other than Apple platforms) where glibc is not used, possibly leading to a buffer overflow.
CVE-2018-14337
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-17
The CHECK macro in mrbgems/mruby-sprintf/src/sprintf.c in mruby 1.4.1 contains a signed integer overflow, possibly leading to out-of-bounds memory access because the mrb_str_resize function in string.c does not check for a negative length.
CVE-2018-14329
PUBLISHED: 2018-07-17
In HTSlib 1.8, a race condition in cram/cram_io.c might allow local users to overwrite arbitrary files via a symlink attack.