Doctor’s stolen laptop contained confidential information about 652 patients

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Last week, a doctor's laptop containing 652 confidential patient records was stolen.

It's essential for organizations that handle sensitive information to take the proper precautions to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing confidential data. Recently in this blog, we reported on the risks that the healthcare industry faces in the age of Big Data. In addition to protecting patient records from cybercriminals, it's also important to ensure that doctors' equipment such as laptops and smartphones are secure in the event that they end up in someone else's hands. 

Last week, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services published a press release announcing that a laptop belonging to private contractor Dr. Sunil Kakar was stolen on February 4 and found in a pawn shop 10 days later. Although there is no evidence that private files were accessed, HealthITSecurity.com reports that there were 652 patient records on the machine. The laptop was password-protected, but officials say they are unsure if it was encrypted. 

"While there is no information to show that the stolen data has been accessed or used for identity theft, I am erring on the side of caution and notifying every person who might be affected," Dr. Kakar wrote in a letter he sent to those who were affected by the incident. "I am extremely sorry for this situation and understand it may cause concern, embarrassment and inconvenience. I try very hard to earn your trust, and that includes protecting sensitive information about you. I take client confidentiality very seriously."

As we've discussed in the past on this blog, the IT security sector offers a variety of potential career opportunities, especially in areas like Texas where there is a steadily growing computer science economy. These businesses need experts to protect large amounts of data from potential cyberattacks or other incidents in which private information could be accessed by unauthorized individuals. To learn more, contact Inquest Staffing, an IT staffing agency, today.

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