Banner Health, one of the largest non-profit healthcare systems in the United States, is warning 3.7 million patients, staff, and food and beverage customers of a data breach traced back to June 23.
Banner issued an announcement last Wednesday claiming they’ll be mailing advisory letters to all the victims of this breach. The breach was originally discovered on July 7th, where hackers gained access to the systems that process payment card data in some of Banners’ food and beverage outlets.
While investigating their POS Breach, researchers discovered that on July 13 attackers gained access to systems holding patients and health plan information. This information includes names, birthdates, addresses, physicians’ names, dates of service, claim information, and possibly even health insurance information and social security numbers. Researchers were able to conclude that this attack was initiated on June 17.
One thing the security community can’t seem to understand is why Banners’ cafeteria point of sale system would need access to systems storing medical records. If they were abiding by best security practices, these would have been completely segregated from one another.
If past healthcare data breaches have taught us anything, it’s that the industry needs to abide by security best practices and implement breach prevention & detection solutions that protect the medical credentials of its consumers while also achieving HIPAA HITECH Compliance.