Data Breach Alert: New Jersey Brain and Spine | Console and Associates, P.C. | #itsecurity | #infosec


Recently, New Jersey Brain and Spine confirmed that the company was the target of a cyberattack, resulting in the potential exposure of certain patients’ protected health information. If you received a data breach notification, it is essential that you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the New Jersey Brain and Spine data breach on behalf of people whose information was exposed. As a part of this investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from New Jersey Brain and Spine.

Last year, 1,862 data breaches affected more than 189 million people. On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 recovering their identity. Many victims also suffer emotional distress, credit damage, and may even end up with a criminal record. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.

What We Know So Far About the New Jersey Brain and Spine Data Breach

According to a notice posted on the company’s website, on November 16, 2021, NJBS discovered that certain files on its computer network had been encrypted. Once NJBS was able to restore its systems, it launched an investigation into the incident. The investigation revealed that the unauthorized party may have been able to access certain patients’ protected health information.

Upon learning of the extent of the security breach, New Jersey Brain and Spine then reviewed the affected files to determine what information was compromised. While this review is ongoing, NJBS noted that the compromised information may include your name, address, date of birth, email address, telephone number, Social Security number, financial account information, debit or credit card information, driver’s license number or other ID numbers, and medical information.

On around March 20, 2022, New Jersey Brain and Spine began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident.

New Jersey Brain and Spine is a healthcare practice based in Oradell, NJ. NJ Brain and Spine is focused primarily on treating patients with spinal and neurological conditions. The practice has a team of approximately 20 doctors and surgeons that treat a wide range of conditions, such as movement disorders, peripheral nerve disorders, and epilepsy. New Jersey Brain and Spine has seven locations throughout the state, including in Hackensack, Maywood, Montclair, North Bergen and Oradell.

More About the Causes and Risks of Data Breaches

Often, data breaches are the result of a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why a hacker targeted NJ Brain and Spine, 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 a company experiencing a data breach can identify which files were accessible, there may be no way for the company 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 New Jersey Brain and Spine data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like NJ Brain and Spine are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that NJ Brain and Spine failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.

What Are Patients’ Remedies in the Wake of the NJ Brain and Spine Data Breach?

When patients sought treatment with NJ Brain and Spine, they assumed that the company would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that consumers would think twice before giving a company 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 a company’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 New Jersey Brain and Spine 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 NJ Brain and Spine 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 New Jersey Brain and Spine, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.

What Should You Do if You Receive a New Jersey Brain and Spine Data Breach Notification?

If New Jersey Brain and Spine 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. Identify What Information Was Compromised: The first thing to do after learning of a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter sent. The letter will tell you what information of yours was accessible to the unauthorized party. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you have trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach lawyer can help.

  2. Limit Future Access to Your Accounts: Once you determine what information of yours was affected by the breach, the safest play is to assume that the hacker orchestrating the attack stole your data. While this may not be the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. To prevent future access to your accounts, you should change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other account containing your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.

  3. Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: After a data breach, companies often provide affected parties with free credit monitoring services. Signing up for the free credit monitoring offers some significant protections and doesn’t impact any of your rights to pursue a data breach lawsuit against the company if it turns out they were legally responsible for the breach. You should contact a credit bureau to request a copy of your credit report—even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.

  4. Consider Implementing a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report. Credit freezes are free and stay in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may seem like overkill, given the risks involved, it’s justified. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), placing a credit freeze on your account is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, just 3% of data breach victims place a freeze on their accounts.

  5. Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach requires an ongoing effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements, looking for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.

Below is a copy of the initial data breach letter issued by New Jersey Brain and Spine:

Dear [Consumer],

New Jersey Brain and Spine (“NJBS”) is providing notice of a recent incident that may involve the personal and protected health information of some of our patients. The confidentiality, privacy, and security of patient information in NJBS’s care is one of our highest priorities, and we take this incident very seriously. At this time, we have no evidence that anyone’s information has been misused,

While NJBS’ investigation remains ongoing, NJBS is providing this online notice to its patients at this time out of an abundance of caution. NJBS is providing details about the events, steps that we are taking in response, and resources available to individuals to protect against the potential misuse of their information. Once NJBS’ investigation is concluded, we will send individual notices by mail to those persons whose information may have been compromised as a result of this incident.

What Happened: On or about November 16, 2021, NJBS discovered that it was the victim of a cyber attack that resulted in the encryption of data stored on its network. Immediately after discovering the incident, NJBS took steps to secure and safely restore its systems and operations. In addition, NJBS engaged cybersecurity experts to conduct a thorough forensics investigation to determine the nature and scope of the incident and to assist in the remediation efforts. The forensics investigation revealed that this incident that may have resulted in unauthorized access to patient information stored on NJBS’s systems.

Meanwhile, NJBS has hired a third party vendor to analyze the data stored within the compromised systems and to identify any individuals whose personal information may have been subject to unauthorized access as a result of this incident. At this time, the data mining process remains ongoing. Once the affected individuals have been identified, NJBS will send individual notices to these persons by mail.

What Information Was Involved: The types of information stored on the impacted systems includes: individual names, addresses, dates of birth, email addresses, telephone numbers, social security numbers, financial account information, debit or credit card information, driver’s license numbers or other ID numbers, and medical information. At this time, NJBS has no reason to believe that anyone’s information has been misused. Once the data mining process is complete, NJBS will send individual notices by mail to those persons whose information may have been subject to unauthorized access as a result of the incident.

What We Are Doing: NJBS takes the security of all personal information and protected health information in its possession very seriously and is taking additional measures to protect this information. Since the incident, NJBS has migrated to a third-party hosted cloud-based platform to securely store patient data, implemented two-factor authentication, installed a new server, and implemented ongoing monitoring response which tracks user activity, services and ports and coordinates logging.

What You Can Do: NJBS encourages all individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud, to review their account statements, and to monitor their credit reports for suspicious or unauthorized activity. Please review the Additional Important Information below outlining additional steps individuals can take to protect their personal information.

For More Information: For patients seeking more information about this incident, please do not hesitate to call our dedicated toll free number (833) 774-1217 Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. EST.

Once again NJBS sincerely regrets any inconvenience that this incident may cause its patients and remains dedicated to protecting their information.



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