Attacked by ransomware, Central Kansas Orthopedic Group refused to pay ransom and restored from backups
On January 9, Central Kansas Orthopedic Group posted a breach notice on their website. Today, the incident, which they reported to HHS on January 28, was added to HHS’s breach tool. From the provider’s notice:
Central Kansas Orthopedic Group (“CKOG”) recently discovered that an unauthorized party or group gained access to its computer system. CKOG learned of this intrusion on November 11, 2019, when the attacker deployed ransomware against CKOG. CKOG did not pay the demanded ransom and was able to restore its system from available backups. All medical records were restored. However, it is possible an unauthorized person or persons had access to medical records. The information in the patient records included: address, date of birth, driver’s license number (or other form of state-issued identification), health information related to treatment at CKOG or referring providers, health insurance number, social security number and email address.
When CKOG discovered the ransomware attack, it immediately engaged outside counsel and a third-party forensic investigator to determine the scope and cause of the breach. After a full forensic investigation, CKOG has no evidence to suggest that any personal information was removed from its system by any third party (including the attacker). CKOG has received no indication that any personal information has been misused in any way since the attack.
In the aftermath of discovering the attack, CKOG took immediate steps to increase security that assisted in shutting down access by the unauthorized party or parties. CKOG will also be receiving recommendations from the forensic investigators on how to further harden its overall security platform and, to the extent those measures have not already been implemented, will implement further security protocols.
In the interest of protecting its patients, CKOG will be offering identity theft protection services through ID Experts®, an industry leader in credit monitoring and identity theft recovery, to affected individuals. The identity theft protection service is known as MyIDCare™ and includes: 12 months of credit and CyberScan monitoring, a $1,000,000 insurance reimbursement policy, and fully managed id theft recovery services. With this protection, MyIDCare will help patients resolve issues if your identity is compromised.
A call center has been set up to field any questions or concerns regarding this incident. The phone number to call is 1-800-939-4170. All patients will be receiving additional information, along with an enrollment number that can be used to create a free account using this website: https://app.myidcare.com/account-creation/protect.
Comment: The above is a clearly written breach explanation and the entity seems to be willing to err on the side of caution to offer complimentary services to patients. That and the fact that they were also able to recover by restoring from backup puts them in the top 25% or so of entities in my unofficial and undocumented rankings of incident response.
According to their report to HHS, they notified 17,214 patients.