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Pharma giant’s data breach exposes patients’ sensitive information

US pharmaceutical giant Sencora has been affected by a data breach.

The company is notifying affected individuals of a cyberattack and data breach earlier this year in which personal information and sensitive medical information was stolen.

This includes the patient’s name, postcode and date of birth, as well as information about medical tests and medications.

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Doctors in discussion (Senkora)

What happened: A detailed look at what happened

Sencora has not yet disclosed the details of the cyberattack, but it has been reported that it began on February 21 and was not made public until the company announced it. Filed notices with government regulators One week later, on February 27th.

The pharmaceutical company, known as AmerisourceBergen until 2023, handles about 20% of the medicines sold and distributed across the United States. It is unclear if Sencora knows how many individuals were affected by the breach. The company said it has identified and notified about 500,000 people affected by the data breach so far. However, Sencora acknowledged that it lacks complete address information for some of the affected people and posted a notice on its website to contact them.

The cyber attack on pharmaceutical giant Sencora was another Attack disrupts Ascension Hospital’s networkBut a Sencora spokesman said there was “no link” between the incident and other attacks on health workers.

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Emergency Signs (Kurt “Cyberguy” Knutson)

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Why should you care about the Cencora data breach?

Sencora is a major player in the U.S. healthcare industry. The company, with a market capitalization of $250 billion, works with major pharmaceutical companies, including GlaxoSmithKline, Novartis, Genentech, Bayer, Regeneron, and Bristol-Myers Squibb. The breach affected at least 23 pharmaceutical and biotech companies, suggesting the impact is more widespread than initially reported.

If you provided data to these companies, the breach could have exposed that data on the web. The number of people affected by the Cencora data breach is likely to be very high. Cencora states on its website that it has served at least 18 million patients to date, and the breach could have exposed the data of all of these patients.

While a data leak may not directly harm you, your data may already be in the hands of scammers on the dark web, who can use it to scam, blackmail or harass you. Since a data leak also exposes your address, scammers may try to trick you by mail, asking for personal information or posing as government authorities.

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Doctor showing medicine (Kurt “Cyberguy” Knutson)

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Aftermath and Response

Cencora completed its investigation into the breach on April 10, 2024. As part of its response, Cencora is offering 24 months of credit monitoring and remediation services to individuals with information related to the incident. It has also been suggested that a ransom may have been paid to prevent the leaked patient data from being made public.

Also, Class action lawsuit A lawsuit has been filed against Cencora, alleging that the company failed to properly protect patient data and delayed notifying affected individuals for nearly three months after discovering the breach.

We reached out to Cencora for comment on this story but did not hear back by deadline.

Seven preventative measures to combat healthcare cyber attacks

If you believe you have been affected by the Cencora data breach, please follow these steps to protect yourself and your personal data:

1. Stay up to date: Stay up to date with the latest news from Cencora and other trusted sources, and stay aware of the status of your systems and services.

2. Monitor your accounts and transactions. Regularly check your online accounts and transactions for suspicious or fraudulent activity. If you notice anything unusual, report it to your service provider or the authorities as soon as possible. Also, check your credit report and credit score for signs of fraudulent activity. Identity Theft Or fraud.

3. Use identity theft protection: Identity theft protection companies can monitor your personal information, such as your home ownership, social security number, phone numbers, and email addresses, and alert you if it’s being used to open accounts. They can also help you freeze your bank and credit card accounts to prevent further fraudulent use by criminals. Check out our tips and best choices for protecting yourself against identity theft.

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4. Change your password. Cencora says that no personal information such as phone numbers or email addresses was leaked, but users are encouraged to change their passwords. Password Manager Generate and store complex passwords.

5. Beware of phishingPlease pay special attention to: Phishing scamsCyber ​​attacks often lead to an increase in phishing emails and phone calls that try to exploit the situation, so be careful. The best way to protect yourself from clicking on malicious links that could install malware that could access your personal information is to install strong antivirus protection on all your devices, which will also alert you to phishing emails and ransomware scams. We’ve handpicked the winners of the best antivirus protection of 2024 for Windows, Mac, Android and iOS devices.

6. Be careful with mailbox communicationBad actors can also commit mail fraud. Data leaks can give bad actors access to your address. Bad actors can impersonate people or brands you know and use themes that require urgent action, such as delivery delays, account suspensions, and security alerts.

7. Invest in a data deletion service: No service promises to delete all your data from the Internet, but if you want to constantly monitor and automate the process of continually deleting information from hundreds of sites over a long period of time, a deletion service can be a useful tool. Check out my recommendations for data deletion services here.

Important points about the cart

Cencora and recent cyberattacks on healthcare organizations suggest that there are serious flaws in healthcare infrastructure. Criminals should not be able to exploit these systems so easily, especially when they contain sensitive patient information. However, caution is advised on the part of users. Data breaches are irreversible, but vigilance can protect you from becoming a victim. Don’t share personal information with others and avoid clicking on untrusted links.

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