Stolen laptop affects 3,700 Henry Ford patients

Melissa Burden / The Detroit News

An estimated 3,700 patients were affected by the recent breach of Henry Ford Health System’s unsecured personal health information, according to information from Henry Ford Hospital posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website.

Health and Human Services by law must post breaches of unsecured protected health information that affect 500 or more people.

An employee’s laptop with the information was discovered stolen Sept. 24 from an unlocked urology medical office. Henry Ford Health System officials earlier this month would not say how many people were affected in the breach, but that it had notified the male patients who had received prostate services from the system between 1997 and 2008.

From The Detroit News

Jonathan: These sorts of breaches are preventable, but highlight a very important point.  The Internet is NOT the only attack vector.  While it is important to keep your systems patched, up-to-date, and protected with anti-virus software, all that effort is in vain if your devices aren’t secure physically.  Hard disk encryption can prevent breaches in case of theft, but it’s much easier to make sure your laptop is in a secure location – a locked desk drawer for example.

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