Ontario Independent

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Three Toronto hospitals have announced significant data breaches involving patient information

At three Toronto hospitals, there was a significant data breach involving patient data.

Key Takeaways:

  • Due to a cybersecurity vulnerability, patients’ personal information may be accessible at three Toronto hospitals.
  • The cybersecurity breach was discovered on January 25, according to officials, and the “unauthorized actor” was thrown out of the system on February 1.

Patients at three Toronto hospitals might have some personal information accessible due to a cybersecurity breach. Still, officials say the incident’s complexity makes it impossible to estimate how many people were affected.

The Scarborough Health Network has issued a public notification reporting illegal access to data on “several” of its systems.

Patient ID numbers, identities, genders, dates of birth, email addresses, home addresses, OHIP numbers, procedure descriptions, lab results, staff names, insurance policy numbers, immunization status, and diagnosis information are among the data that might have been accessed, according to the report.

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In a statement, SHN President and Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Buller said, “SHN takes the privacy and security of patient, staff, and business contact and personal information extremely seriously, and we profoundly regret that this event occurred.” “I want to reassure patients that we worked quickly to contain and analyze the situation, so our clinical activities were not disrupted.” In addition, all IT security measures identified due to our research were implemented right away.”

According to officials, the cybersecurity compromise was identified on January 25, and the “unauthorized actor” was kicked out of the system by February 1. As a result, all patient information gathered since February is not deemed to be in jeopardy.

According to the hospital network, experts are still monitoring the matter but “have not yet found any harmful use of the material that was accessed.”

At three Toronto hospitals, there was a significant data breach involving patient data.
At three Toronto hospitals, there was a significant data breach involving patient data. Image from Health IT security

Individuals should monitor their accounts and “be vigilant for incidences of fraud and identity theft,” according to SHN officials.

“Unfortunately, due to the intricacy of the Incident, we cannot ascertain which persons were directly impacted,” according to a statement on the SHN website.

The breach touched servers containing patient data from Birchmount Hospital, Scarborough General Hospital, Centenary Hospital, and Ajax Pickering Hospital, all of which were part of Lakeridge Health before its merger.

The Ontario Office of the Data and Privacy Commissioner has been notified of the breach.

Source: CTV news

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