The story from Cooper University Hospital is that a thumb drive filled with sensitive data has gone missing. Data encryption was not used to protect the contents, meaning over 100 people may be at heightened risk of ID theft.
Only Residents and Fellows Affected
The device–which included SSNs, addresses, and phone numbers of university hospital residents and fellows–went missing on July 8th. The police are still investigating whether this is a case of theft.
It should be noted that patient information was not involved.
Thumb Drive was not Secure
As the university hospital readily admitted, the device was not protected with encryption software. Seeing how nobody really knows what happened to the thumb drive, the threat of identity theft is quite real (although probably low).
If either disk encryption or file encryption had been used, the above doctors–and they are doctors; it’s just that they still require supervision–could be at peace knowing that their information was protected. Instead, now they’ll have to wonder whether one day they’ll find themselves victims of a fraudulent credit application or some other contract.
Not exactly what you want surgeons worrying about as they’re inserting a catheter down your throat.
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