Kaiser Permanente suffered a data breach due to email compromise on April 5 that potentially exposed the medical records of nearly 70,000 patients, the company revealed earlier this month.
Attackers gained access to the emails of an employee at Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Washington that contained “Protected health information,” the company revealed in a letter to affected clients on June 3.
Even Kaiser wasn’t completely sure if attackers gained access to personal health information of clients due to the breach, though the company acknowledged that it is “Unable to completely rule out the possibility.”
The company said it has no evidence of “Identity theft or misuse of protected health information” as a result of the breach.
One security professional noted that while it was “Proactive” of Kaiser Permanente to notify such a large group clients about the breach, the company’s uncertainty about whether data was stolen or not may indicate a lack of sufficient incident response on its part.
Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, a comprehensive look at data breaches that occurred in the previous year, found that 82 percent of the breaches analyzed last year involved what researchers call “The human element,” which can be any number of things.