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Metro Infectious Disease Consultants is notifying 171,740 patients about an email security incident discovered on June 24, 2021. An unauthorized individual was found to have gained access to certain employees’ email accounts which contained the protected health information of patients.
Upon discovery of the security breach, steps were immediately taken to secure the accounts to prevent further access and Metro Infectious Disease Consultants engaged a computer forensics firm to determine the extent and scope of the breach. The investigation confirmed the breach was confined to its email environment and that the compromised email accounts contained patient data such as names, addresses, dates of birth, account numbers, insurance information, prescription information, limited clinical information, Social Security numbers, and driver’s license numbers. The types of data in the account varied from individual to individual.
Metro Infectious Disease Consultants has sent notification letters to all individuals affected by the breach and complimentary credit monitoring and identity theft protection services have been offered to all individuals whose Social Security number or driver’s license number was exposed in the incident.
Metro Infectious Disease Consultants said it has no reason to believe that anyone’s personal information has been misused, or that the unauthorized party that accessed the account viewed or acquired patient data; however, as a precaution, affected individuals have been advised to regularly monitor their credit reports, account statements and explanation of benefit statements for suspicious activity.
The computer forensics firm analyzed the cybersecurity defenses of Metro Infectious Disease Consultants and made recommendations to enhance security, which are being implemented to prevent further data breaches.