2,500 Avia Dental Plan members notified of security breach
From the this-doesn’t-sound-good dept.:
Avia Dental Plan was notified by the U.S. Secret Service that it was investigating the theft of password information that permitted access to Avia Dental Plan members’ personal information including names, addresses, dates of birth, Social Security Numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and credit card information. In some cases, members’ dependents’ information may also have been accessed, including their names, dates of birth, relationship to Avia member, and gender.
By letter dated October 14 to the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office, lawyers for the West Virginia-based Avia disclosed that with the assistance of IT professionals and the Secret Service, they had identified 2,500 customers nationwide who may have been affected by the breach. All of those identified were sent notification letters on October 6 by U.S. mail. They were not offered any free credit monitoring services, however.
The notification to the state did not indicate when the breach occurred or precisely when Avia Dental Plan was first notified by USSS.
As of the date of the correspondence, Avia had not determined how the password to the administrative software suite had been acquired by the intruder(s).
I wouldn’t be surprised if Avia got sued over this breach – even though there is no indication (yet) of any misuse of data. They seemingly failed to encrypt the SSN or credit card information, and while that is not required under HIPAA, the public is increasingly expecting firms to implement better security. Then, too, they did not offer free credit monitoring services, which will likely upset a number of notification recipients. And once people are upset, they will likely point to the fact that not only did Avia get breached, they didn’t even know they had been breached until the Secret Service alerted them.
All in all, this is not a good situation for Avia and in my opinion, it would have been prudent for it to offer at least some free services to those notified to mitigate possible harm.