Breach notice issued for patients of Florida Department of Health clinics

Northwest Florida
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The Florida Department of Health has released the following release about a compromised email account that could impact people in Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton Counties.

Tallahassee, Fla.— In an abundance of caution, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa is issuing a federally required breach notice to patients of its clinics located in District 1, which includes Escambia, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa and Walton counties. The department completed an investigation and found that an unauthorized user compromised a Children’s Medical Services employee’s Microsoft Outlook 365 account between October 8 – October 16, 2018. The department immediately reset the employee’s login credentials to terminate any inappropriate account access and promptly reported the event to the Inspector General and the Security Administration Team. It is possible that individuals served by the District 1 Child Protection Team may have had their names, psychological, and medical conditions accessed as a result of this incident. 

Currently the department has no reason to believe that client information has been misused.  Nor was there any evidence of access to social security numbers, bank accounts, credit cards or other personal or financial information. 

As a precautionary measure, clients are encouraged to review their credit history for any fraudulent or suspicious activities they have not authorized. A free report can be obtained at www.annualcreditreport.com. If you have had fraudulent activity, contact the Pensacola County Sheriff’s Office at 850-436-9830.

The department takes this matter very seriously and has taken the following steps to prevent future occurrences:

  • Took immediate steps to remediate the breach and began an ongoing review of potentially impacted information;

  • Conducted a full review of department IT data to determine the circumstances of the breach;

  • Initiated a new security awareness training and exercises to ensure proper security protocol and monthly testing of employees;

  • Is exploring additional security options to protect against further security breaches. 

The security of personal information is of critical importance to the Department of Health. The Department is committed to safeguarding personal information and to further safeguard the identity of our clients.

If you have any questions, please contact Children’s Medical Services at 850-245-4201 and select option 3.

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