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Security Breach at Cottage Health Exposed 11,000 Patient Records

December 3, 2015
by Heather Landi
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Santa Barbara, Calif.-based Cottage Health has disclosed a healthcare data breach from an exposed network server that affected 11,000 patients’ records.

On its website, the health system stated a team of cybersecurity experts employed by Cottage Health to test data system security discovered and shut down a single server that was exposed between Oct. 26 and Nov. 8, 2015. “Our investigation revealed that limited information of approximately 11,000 Cottage Health patients was exposed,” the statement said.

The information involved included names, addresses, social security numbers and limited medical information such as diagnosis and procedure. Cottage Health said there is no evidence that driver’s license numbers or financial information was compromised.

The health system said notification letters were mailed to individuals who were potentially impacted in order to provide those individuals with identity theft protection services as a precaution.

“For the individuals potentially impacted, we are offering identity theft protection services through ID Experts to provide FraudStop PHI Edition at no cost. ID Experts holds the American Hospital Association's exclusive endorsement for breach response services,” Cottage Health said.

Cottage Health said it would continue rigorous testing of its systems, using the latest technology to safeguard data.

“We have hired a third-party computer forensic company to continue the investigation. At this time we have no indication that information was misused,” the health system said on its website.




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