From the category archives:

Security

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Vancouver, Longview dental offices hit by malware

July 22, 2019

From The Columbian: Widespread malicious software attacks locking up computer systems have forced some local dental offices to cancel or reschedule appointments over the last week. The July 3 attacks affected customers of PM Consultants, a Portland-area IT consulting and support company, including Lower Columbia Oral Health. Arbor Dental in Longview and Vancouver and Longview Family […]

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House votes to lift ban on federal funding for unique patient identifier

July 15, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: Although HIPAA initially required the creation of a health identifier in 1998, Congress overruled the legislation, barring federal agencies from investigating or creating patient identifiers out of privacy concerns.The American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) voiced its support for efforts in Congress to repeal an “archaic ban that has stifled innovation and industry progress for […]

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UChicago SUED for providing Google with sensitive patient data

July 8, 2019

From Campus Reform: A former University of Chicago medical patient filed a class-action lawsuit against the University of Chicago and Google, claiming that the University of Chicago Medical Center is giving private patient information to the tech giant without patients’ consent. About two years ago, the university medical center partnered with Google with the hope […]

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New bill to plug up HIPAA app gaps

July 2, 2019

From POLITICO: PRIVACY BILL PICKS UP WHAT HIPAA LEAVES OUT—Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) are collaborating on a bill that would direct HHS Secretary Alex Azar to come up with regulations for health technology, including for apps, wearables and direct-to-consumer genetic tests. The bill directs HHS to consult with the FTC and the […]

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Don’t Trust Libra, Facebook’s New Cryptocurrency

June 27, 2019

From The Atlantic: Facebook, one of the world’s most distrusted companies, wants us to trust its new Libra cryptocurrency, which, it hopes, will be used by billions of people around the world. We shouldn’t. Libra will almost exactly replicate all the problems generated by Facebook’s social network. Those problems can in turn be traced to the […]

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Protect Your Office from Ransomware

June 24, 2019

From the ADA Center for Professional Success: Because ransomware is designed to deny access to data, there could be HIPAA implications for a dentist office that falls victim to it.There are multiple defenses against ransomware. Training your staff on basic data security can help reduce the chances of your staff being susceptible to attacks that will […]

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Government and health care sectors had most breaches in 2018

June 18, 2019

From Roll Call: The health care sector suffered 466 incidents of cyberattacks and 304 instances of confirmed data breach, Verizon found. …A majority of those incidents and breaches stemmed from “internal actors” or health care employees misusing their user privileges to access databases they should not be accessing, Verizon said in its report. “Effectively monitoring […]

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Risky Business

June 11, 2019

From Solarwinds

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HHS guidance clarifies HIPAA liability with use of 3rd-party health apps

June 4, 2019

From FierceHealthcare: The Trump administration is pushing the healthcare industry to be a part of the smartphone economy, but there has been some confusion about whether healthcare providers and their health IT vendors would be held accountable for how patients use their health data. To address this, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of […]

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Adobe Tells Users They Can Get Sued for Using Old Versions of Photoshop

May 20, 2019

From VICE: It’s yet another example of how in the modern era, you increasingly don’t actually own the things you’ve spent your hard-earned money on. …“Please be aware that should you continue to use the discontinued version(s), you may be at risk of potential claims of infringement by third parties.” Source: Adobe Tells Users They Can […]

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Former dentistry employee accused of spreading fake message

May 13, 2019

An ex-employee from Downie Family Dentistry is accused of hacking into the dentistry’s phones and sending messages to customers saying the dentistry was closing due to the dentist having a drug problem. The dentist’s office says neither are true. Source: Former dentistry employee accused of spreading fake message Yikes!!! The site was “hacked”. Not really, if you read further it says […]

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Data Breach Report

May 9, 2019

Interesting report on data breaches here: “Managing Enterprise Risks in a Digital World”. Two interesting findings: 25% of breaches were in healthcare, the most of any industry. The largest cause of breaches was phishing, 37%. (see previous post)

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Data breach of Phoenix dental office impacts more than 7,500 patients

May 7, 2019

From Arizona News | azfamily.com: A Phoenix dental office has an ongoing breach of protected health information, Source: Data breach of Phoenix dental office impacts more than 7,500 patients | Arizona News | azfamily.com The linked article is confused. It states the breach is “ongoing”. That seems unlikely. The mitigation may be ongoing however I […]

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Phishing

May 6, 2019

From Advanced Automation: “Phishing” refers to the practice of sending emails mimicking a company to trick individuals into revealing sensitive information. Here is an example using Amazon.com. We have seen a steady increase in fraudulent Amazon emails. The scammer creates an email that looks like it is from Amazon.com telling you that you have received […]

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Zuckerberg could be targeted in Facebook FTC investigation

April 29, 2019

From 9to5Mac: According to a report from The Washington Post, federal regulators are investigating Zuckerberg’s past statements on privacy and considering holding him responsible for Facebook’s numerous privacy lapses. According to the report, FTC veterans have encouraged investigators to “take direct aim at Zuckerberg” and put him under additional federal oversight. Source: Zuckerberg could be targeted […]

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Amazon adds HIPAA compliance to Alexa Skills, opening door for secure health apps

April 9, 2019

From  GeekWire: Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant has a new trick: transmitting secure patient information between patients and caregivers. Developers can now use the Alexa Skills Kit to build HIPAA-compliant apps, opening the door for hospitals, insurers, digital health startups and others to manage patient data through voice. Source: Amazon adds HIPAA compliance to Alexa Skills, […]

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Ransomware

March 18, 2019
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HHS Collected Record $28M For HIPAA Violations Last Year.

March 4, 2019

From ADA News: Modern Healthcare reported HHS said last week that it “collected a record $28.7 million from healthcare providers and insurers in 2018 for inadequate responses to data breaches.” This figure exceeds the total of $23.5 million for 2017. Office for Civil Rights Director Roger Severino said, “Our record year underscores the need for covered […]

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Aetna, Anthem, IBM Announce Healthcare Blockchain Collaborative

February 28, 2019

From Health IT Analytics: Blockchain technology could reduce administrative errors and ensure the efficient exchange of health information, which would lead to improved patient outcomes and lower care costs. Although there have been multiple initiatives to digitize health information, significant advancements are still necessary, and these organizations will seek to move the industry forward.“This alliance […]

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ADA comments on agency’s request to modify HIPAA rules

February 21, 2019

From ADA News: Washington — The ADA is asking the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights to incorporate flexibility and keep processes simple to help dental offices remain HIPAA compliant. Source: ADA comments on agency’s request to modify HIPAA rules Hmmm

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