Cybersecurity Vigilance Remains Key

CAST | July 20, 2020 | by Donna Childress

A recent breach affecting residents at independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities highlights the importance of the CAST Cybersecurity Resources.

Now is always a good time to review your cybersecurity preparedness, and a recent email data breach at Choice Health Management Services underscores that advice. The breach could affect an undisclosed number of residents at some of Choice Health’s 18 independent living, assisted living, memory care, and skilled nursing facilities, as well as employees and third parties associated with those facilities, according to a recent article in McKnight's Senior Living.
 
Based in Claremont, NC, Choice Health provides IT, payroll, billing, and compliance functions for several senior living and care communities in North Carolina and South Carolina, the article said.
 
The breach was discovered when Choice Health noticed “suspicious activity” in some employee email accounts. After being unable to determine what information was accessed, the company hired a third-party forensic investigator. Upon learning that personal health confirmation was contained in some of the email accounts, Choice Health reviewed its internal records to determine who and which specific facilities were affected.
 
Information breached included first and last names and one or more of the following data: data of birth, Social Security number, driver’s license number, passport number, financial information, usernames and passwords, and patient medical information. While Choice Health told McKnight's Senior Living it was unaware of any actual misuse of personal information, it provided notice to residents and patients “in an abundance of caution.”

CAST Cybersecurity Resources

To protect your organization, please review and implement recommendations in the CAST Cybersecurity Resources. These resources were created to help LeadingAge members and other aging services organizations understand cybersecurity threats, how to mitigate those threats, and how to respond if attacked.
 
The resources include a cybersecurity white paper, case studies, and a benchmarking questionnaire that will help providers identify where they may be at risk, so that they can work to plug those vulnerabilities.
 
If you are working with voice technologies, please also check out “Opportunities, and Risks, with New Smart Voice Technology in Senior Living.”