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Coastal Hospice addressing cyber security incident | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware


Data breached in July, affected individuals notified

By Charlene Sharpe, Associate Editor

Officials at Coastal Hospice & Palliative Care have been notifying affected individuals following a data security incident that occurred in July.

“This disruption did not impact our ability to provide care to our patients and families,” said Alejandra Lazcano, director of communications at Coastal Hospice. “Our IT team, along with security experts, acted quickly and our information was able to be secured. Coastal Hospice is not aware of the misuse of any potentially affected information. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, we recommend our community to remain vigilant and review account statements and credit reports closely.”

According to an announcement on the Coastal Hospice website, a network disruption on July 24 resulted in an immediate investigation. The investigation, which was conducted by cybersecurity professionals, revealed that certain files may have been acquired without authorization. In late November, certain individuals’ personal and/or protected health information was “identified as being contained within the potentially affected data.”

Coastal Hospice issued letters Jan. 22 to people potentially impacted. 

“Coastal Hospice has enhanced its network security and has reported the incident to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in an effort to hold the perpetrators accountable,” the Coastal Hospice notice reads. 

Information that may have been involved in the incident includes social security numbers, dates of birth, medical diagnosis information, health insurance policy numbers, physician information, medical conditions and patient account numbers. 

Those with questions about the incident are invited to reach out to a call center established to address concerns. Representatives are available 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 1-888-541-0492.

The nonprofit also advises anyone who may be impacted to review their debit and credit card statements regularly for any unusual activity. Individuals can also consider putting fraud alerts on their credit reports. The alert informs creditors of possible fraudulent activity within the reports and requests that the creditor contact the individual prior to establishing any accounts in the individual’s name. 

“Coastal Hospice takes the privacy and security of all data and systems very seriously and safeguarding and maintaining the confidentiality of our patient and employee information remains our utmost priority,” the statement read.

This story appears in the Feb. 1, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.

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