Texas health system recovers from ransomware attack: 4 things to know

Altus Baytown (Texas) Hospital posted a notice to its website alerting patients to a potential compromise of their protected health information stemming from a September ransomware attack.

Here are four things to know:

1. On Sept. 3, ABH officials discovered that an unauthorized third party had gained access to the hospital's computer system and infected it with ransomware that encrypted many of the hospital's files, rendering them inaccessible.

2. ABH's EHR was not affected, but some of the encrypted files stored patient information included names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver's license numbers, credit card information, phone numbers and medical information.

3. ABH hired an external IT consultancy to investigate the breach and launched an internal investigation into the incident, which revealed no indication that the files had been accessed or used by any unauthorized individual.

4. ABH recommended patients monitor their credit and debit card account statements, explanation of benefits, and credit reports.

"We are keenly aware of how important our patients' personal information is to them, and we apologize for any inconvenience," the notice reads. "We are committed to providing quality care, including protecting our patients' personal information. We have been working with our IT consultants to review and analyze the security of our computer systems, and we have updated certain technical, administrative and physical safeguards to ensure the security and confidentiality of [patients'] data in the future."

More articles on cybersecurity:

5 security frameworks hospitals are adopting
SamSam ransomware continues to wreak havoc on healthcare, report finds
1 in 3 ransomware attacks target healthcare companies, report suggests

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