Quest Diagnostics Data Breach: Vulnerability in Healthcare Data Protection

Posted by Julia Webb on 5 June 2019

Data breaches have become commonplace, with reports of the data of businesses and customers alike being compromised regularly. It’s created a world where every customer across the globe is wondering when – not if – their information will end up on the Dark Web, and what the next major breach will be. 

One of the latest victims of these breaches was Quest Diagnostics, a provider of diagnostic testing and services that help inform healthcare decisions. Earlier this week, Quest acknowledged that one of their third-party billing providers suffered a major data breach impacting roughly 11.9 million accounts. Everything from social security numbers to other sensitive personal health information was compromised due to the breach. 

In the official filing of the incident, it’s stated that the breach was caused by malicious activity on the payment pages. An unauthorized user had access to the system that contained information that was collected from Quest Diagnostics. In a statement from Quest, they said they suspended their partnership with the third-party billing service, however complete information about the breach has not yet been provided. 

An investigation is still underway, but regardless of motive this was a major breach for the healthcare industry. Back in 2015 Anthem, the second largest health insurance provider in the U.S., experienced a breach of about 79 million patients’ personal information. 

Whether this signifies a security crisis in the healthcare sector or not, it certainly shows that the industry is a key target for these kinds of attacks. And clearly the standards to protect consumers medical and healthcare information should be revisited. 

With breaches like this becoming common place, customers are forced to wonder how they can keep their information secure and safe against fraud. The answer unfortunately is there’s little individuals can do to impact corporate security, especially with cyber criminals constantly using new and enhanced tactics. 

On a corporate level, company executives must make investments in the latest security technologies, experienced personnel, and be diligent in continuously monitoring for attacks. No company is too small, nor too large to actively protect their data. If you’re serious about your corporate security posture, find out how BioConnect can help.

Topics: News, Digital Security, Data Breaches