Data Breach Alert: Duncan Regional Hospital, Inc. | Console and Associates, P.C. | #computerhacking | #hacking

Recently, lawyers for Duncan Regional Hospital, Inc. (“DRH Health”) filed official notice of a data breach impacting as many as 92,398 individuals. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are going to begin interviewing victims of the breach to determine what damages they sustained and what legal claims may be available to them. If you recently learned your information was compromised in the recent breach, reaching out to a data breach lawyer is the first step to understanding all of your options.

What We Know So Far About the Duncan Regional Hospital Data Breach

Duncan Regional Hospital is a not-for-profit regional healthcare system based in Duncan, Oklahoma. The DRH Health system consists of two hospitals (Duncan Regional Hospital and Jefferson County Hospital) and 20 provider clinics. DRH Health provides a wide range of services including cardiac care, cancer care, women’s health, pulmonology, behavioral health, addiction services and more.

According to a recent news report, on January 20, 2022, DRH Health determined that a cybersecurity incident affected one of the hospital’s servers. As a result of this discovery, DRH Health secured its computer network and launched an investigation into the incident to determine what information was accessible and whether any sensitive consumer data was compromised.

On January 22, 2022, the hospital determined that certain consumer information may have been accessible to an unauthorized party. While the specific data affected likely varies by individual, it may include affected parties’ names and Social Security numbers.

On March 4, 2022, Duncan Regional Hospital began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was contained in the affected files. It is believed that as many as 92,398 individuals were impacted by the DRH Health security incident.

More About the Causes and Risks of Data Breaches

Often, data breaches are the result of a hacker gaining unauthorized access to an organization’s computer systems with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why a hacker targeted DRH Health, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify those companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.

Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and remove any data stored on the compromised servers. While in most cases an organization experiencing a data breach can identify which files were accessible, there may be no way for the organization to tell which files the hacker actually accessed or whether they removed any data.

While the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of an unauthorized person. As a result, you are at an increased risk of identity theft and other frauds, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.

Given this reality, individuals who receive a Duncan Regional Hospital data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like DRH Health are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that DRH Health failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.

What Are Consumers’ Remedies in the Wake of the DRH Health Data Breach?

When patients decided to receive treatment at DRH Health, they assumed that the hospital would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that patients would think twice before giving a hospital access to their information if they knew it wasn’t going to be secure. Thus, data breaches such as this one raise questions about the adequacy of an organization’s data security system.

When a business, government entity, non-profit organization, school, or any other organization accepts and stores consumer data, it also accepts a legal obligation to ensure this information remains private. The United States data breach laws allow consumers to pursue civil data breach claims against organizations that fail to protect their information.

Of course, given the recency of the Duncan Regional Hospital data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, as of right now, there is not yet any evidence suggesting DRH Health is legally responsible for the breach. However, that could change as additional information about the breach and its causes is revealed.

If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against Duncan Regional Hospital, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What Should You Do if You Receive a Duncan Regional Hospital Data Breach Notification?

If Duncan Regional Hospital sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. While this isn’t a time to panic, the situation warrants your attention. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity:

  1. Figure Out What Information Was Stolen: Carefully review the data breach letter sent by Mon Health, keeping in mind the information you provided to the company as well as the type of data that was compromised in the breach. You should also take a copy of the data breach letter and keep it for your records. Of course, data breach letters are not always easy to understand. A consumer privacy lawyer can help victims of a data breach understand what was compromised and how to protect themselves.

  2. Prevent the Hacker from Accessing Your Accounts: Once you determine the scope of the breach and how it affected you, you should take all steps to prevent cybercriminals from accessing your credit or financial accounts. For example, you should change all passwords and security questions for your online accounts. You should also consider setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.

  3. Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: In the wake of a data breach, companies usually provide free credit monitoring services for a specified period of time. This is not a gimmick, and you do not give up any rights by taking a company up on their offer. Additionally, you should contact one of the three main credit bureaus to request a copy of your credit report. Even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity, it is a good idea to request a fraud alert. Fraud alerts are free and serve as a red flag to potential lenders and creditors that your information was compromised.

  4. Consider a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents access to your credit report unless you specifically authorize it. Credit freezes are free and last until you remove them. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may initially seem like a drastic measure, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), doing so is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, ITRC reports that just 3% of consumers whose information is leaked place a freeze on their accounts. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit.

  5. Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach is not a one-time task. You should continually monitor your credit report and all financial accounts, keeping an eye out for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You may also consider calling your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.

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