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Personal data of thousands of medical staff stolen after security breach

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March 13, 2017

We've learned today that the personal data of thousands of medical workers was stolen in Wales following a security breach of an IT contractor's server.

Various personal details including names, dates of birth, national insurance numbers and radiation doses of radiography staff were misappropriated by hackers accessing the Britain-based systems of global dosimetry company Landauer.

It is estimated that the security incident will also affect NHS facilities in England and Scotland as well.

The security breach, which occurred in October of last year, affected the Radiation Protection Service (RPS) which is run by the NHS Trust in Wales. NHS Trust today announced the breach publicly, stating that it was itself only notified of the incident on January 17, several months after it had taken place.

“The reasons behind the delay in notifying us of the security issue are the subject of ongoing discussions with the host company,” NHS asserted.

NHS Trust had not yet responded to our enquiries as of this publication. NHS reported the breach to the Welsh government and other regulatory bodies.

A spokesperson for the Welsh government told us-- “We are aware of this critical security breach and will be expecting full details of the investigation and its outcome within the next few weeks.”

“This is an incident in a large global company holding sensitive data on individuals in many countries across the world,” stated the spokesperson.

“This issue affects many individuals in England and Scotland as well. NHS staff have been made aware of the situation and appropriate measures have been put in place to support them,” the spokesperson asserted.

An ICO representative added-- “We are aware of this incident and are making enquiries. The organizations impacted should be informing their staff if they have been affected. There are measures people can take to guard against identity theft, for instance being vigilant around items on their credit card statements or checking their credit ratings. There are more tips and information on our website.”

A spokesperson for the Betsi Cadwalader University Health Board admitted that 654 of its own staff had been affected by the security incident.

“No patient data has been affected by this breach. NHS provides ionising radiation monitoring for the NHS Health Boards across Britain and holds personal information on NHS staff including names, radiation doses and in some cases, dates of birth and National Insurance numbers,” it added.

We have contacted all the staff affected to reassure them that we acted swiftly to secure servers and that, since the attack, we have undertaken significant measures in connection with our IT network to ensure that no further information can be compromised.

NHS has also arranged for the staff affected to have free access to the credit monitoring agency Experian for the next 2 years.

“We are also working closely with our Information Governance department and the Information Commissioner’s Office to ensure that the actions we have taken so far are in line with our requirements under the Data Protection Act of 1998,” the spokesperson asserted.

Source: NHS Trust.

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Read the latest IT news. Visit ItDirection.net. Updated several times daily.

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