The Charlotte-based Atrium Health is the latest victims of a data breach. Occurring in late September, the breach has affected two million patients. Hackers were able to obtain over 700,000 Social Security numbers through a third-party vendor, AccuDoc, that Atrium uses to store data and handle billing services. Fortunately, no financial or medical data was accessed, and the Social Security numbers were only viewed, not removed. Both companies, as well as the FBI, are running an extensive investigation pertaining to the matter. Patients who had their social security numbers viewed are being notified and offered complimentary credit and identity monitoring services. Atrium released a statement saying, “We are notifying the patients and guarantors who may have been impacted by this incident. We take cybersecurity very seriously, and we’ve worked very hard to determine exactly what happened, and how to prevent it from happening again. The fact that even one record was accessed is one too many. Our patients expect us to keep all of their information private, which is why we took action so quickly.” More information should be released as the investigation is still ongoing.
If users have found that their Social Security number could have been accessed, they should contact the main credit bureaus. The IRS and FTC should also be contacted as soon as possible. An identity theft report can also be filed with a local police department.