Columbus Surgery Center and Eye Physicians falls victim to ransomware attack: 5 things to know

Cyber attackers targeted Columbus (Neb.) Surgery Center and Eye Physicians in a ransomware attack, according to The Columbus Telegram.

Here are five things to know:

1. The eye center reported a "data security incident" related to a ransomware attack that may have compromised patients' personal and health information. The attack occurred Oct. 7 and the center is investigating the incident.

2. Forensic experts are determining how the incident occurred and whether an unauthorized third party accessed patient information. The investigation hasn't revealed evidence of unauthorized patient information access, but patient names as well as procedure notes and date of birth may be at risk.

3. Columbus Surgery Center and Eye Physicians sent a letter to patients whose information may have been exposed along with action to protect themselves. To date, no patients have reported misuse of their information.

4. The center hired an outside security consultant to conduct a network security assessment and made improvements to hardware and software as a result.

5. Columbus Surgery Center and Eye Physicians are the latest in a line of surgery centers that have reported ransomware attacks and potential breaches over the past year. Arkansas Oral and Facial Surgery Center in Harrison reported an attack in July and St. Mark's Surgical Center in Fort Myers, Fla., revealed potentially 33,000 patient files were exposed during an attack in April.

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