Tag Archives: coronavirus

OCR Issues Guidance About Media Access to Health Care Facilities

These days, news stations are frequently running stories concerning people being treated for COVID-19, the providers working tirelessly to care for them, and politicians visiting health care facilities for a first-hand look at the crisis. In response to the media interest, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued guidance on May 5, 2020 to healthcare … Continue Reading

Financial Services Information Sharing Group Warns of Increased Phishing Attacks

The Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) has warned that financial services firms, and in particular smaller ones, are being attacked at an increased rate during the coronavirus pandemic. According to FS-ISAC, phishing attacks against financial services firms increased by one-third in the first quarter of 2020. In that time period, FS-ISAC identified … Continue Reading

Small Business Administration Loan Portal Compromised

Following the devastating impact of the coronavirus on small businesses, many small businesses applied for a disaster loan through the Small Business Administration (SBA) for relief. Small businesses that qualify for the disaster loan program, which is different than the Paycheck Protection Program offered by the SBA, can apply for the loan by uploading the … Continue Reading

Interpol Issues Alert on Increased Risk of Ransomware Attacks Against COVID-19 Medical Organizations

Interpol has issued an alert to global law enforcement agencies about the increased risk of ransomware attacks on hospitals, health care providers and other organizations on the front line of response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Purple Notice, issued to all 194 member countries, notified them that Interpol’s Cybercrime Threat Response team has detected a … Continue Reading

City of L.A. Email Blunder Exposes COVID-19 Test Results to All Recipients

Although email seems to be the preferred method of communication during the coronavirus pandemic, an error made by a City of Los Angeles employee is one to learn from and avoid repeat. Unfortunately, when emailing COVID-19 results to multiple individuals, instead of blind copying the recipients with the results, a staff member from the City … Continue Reading

Microsoft Issues Cybersecurity Risk Warning and Offers Help to Hospitals During COVID-19 Crisis

On April 1, 2020, Microsoft issued a specific warning to health care entities alerting them that they are at particular risk during the COVID-19 crisis, as threat actors are using the pandemic to take advantage of vulnerabilities while hospitals are focused on responding to the crisis. According to Microsoft “[D]uring this time of crisis, as … Continue Reading

OCR Issues Additional Guidance on HIPAA for Providers and First Responders on COVID-19 Front Lines

On March 24, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued new HIPAA guidance to help providers and first responders in its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. OCR’s guidance addresses when HIPAA allows disclosures without patient authorization of identifying health information to first responders – such … Continue Reading

COVID-19 Vaccine Test Lab Hit by Maze Ransomware

Despite the fact that the hackers behind Maze ransomware previously promised not to hit medical organizations during the coronavirus pandemic, it recently attacked a British medical lab that is slated to test COVID-19 vaccines during the pandemic. The Maze hackers previously said publicly that it would “stop all activity versus all kinds of medical organizations … Continue Reading

COVID-19: HHS Issues FAQs on HIPAA and Telehealth to Help Providers Maintain Access to Care During the Pandemic

On March 20, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued additional guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on HIPAA and telehealth services to help providers furnish care during the COVID-19 pandemic. The FAQs follow and provide further information on the Notification of Enforcement Discretion issued by HHS on March 17 (Notification), … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #229 – Two RSA Conference Attendees Test Positive for Coronavirus

Our firm is a proud member of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), as are those of many of my colleagues in the industry. I attend the IAPP Global Privacy Summit every year, and have done so since (I think) 2004. Yikes. Back in the early days, hundreds of individuals attended the conference in … Continue Reading

Department of Health & Human Services Office for Civil Rights Issues Guidance Regarding HIPAA Privacy and Novel Coronavirus

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) last month provided guidance and a reminder to HIPAA covered entities and their business associates regarding the sharing of patient health information (PHI) under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy Rule during an outbreak or emergency situation such as what we are all facing right now … Continue Reading

Privacy Tip #228 – Coronavirus Scare Is the Perfect Cover for Fraudsters

The coronavirus—or COVID-19—has health care experts scrambling, and has caused global concern for health and well-being due to its rapid spread throughout many countries, including the United States. A scare like this is the perfect opportunity for scammers and fraudsters to prey on well-intentioned people. Unfortunately, during this global health care concern, criminals are using … Continue Reading

Antwork Uses Drones in China to Assist in Transport During Coronavirus Outbreak

Last week, a medical delivery drone flying from the People’s Hospital of Xinchang County to the disease control center there successfully completed the air transport of needed medical quarantine supplies and patient samples in the coronavirus outbreak. This is the first launch of Antwork’s “urban air transportation channel” to help fight the coronavirus outbreak in … Continue Reading

HHS Issues Timely Reminder of Applicability of HIPAA to Outbreak Situations

On February 3, 2020, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a bulletin (the Bulletin) to remind covered entities and business associates of how patient information may be shared under HIPAA in the event of an emergency, such as an outbreak of infectious disease. The Bulletin was issued in response to the … Continue Reading

Cyber Criminals Using Coronavirus Concern to Assist with Intrusions

Concern over the spreading coronavirus from China is legitimate and real. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the coronavirus a global health emergency, and the United States and other countries are limiting travel of individuals from the affected areas in China. As we have seen with other public concerns, cyber criminals and threat actors … Continue Reading
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