There is enough to worry about when going to the doctor's office, that any additional stress can cause more problems. One thing a patient should never need to worry about is the security of their credit card information when they make a payment. Unfortunately, these processing systems can be a treasure trove of information for cyber criminals if it is not protected.
According to a report from ABC News 4, a Charleston, South Carolina affiliate, the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) was the victim of a cyber attack that resulted in the theft of approximately 7,000 patients' credit card information. The organization found out when a third party credit card processing vendor contacted them and confirmed it this week. The report mentions that patients who paid for health services over the phone or internet could have had their names, billing addresses, credit card/expiration/authorization numbers and emails stolen.
MUSC CEO Patrick Cauley said the medical facility has known about the security breach for close to two weeks. Online payments were immediately suspended as an investigation was started. Cauley did say that there was a reason for the delay between the discovery and official announcement.
"These things are never that straight forward. You don't just receive a list and you know exactly what happened. If that was the case, we could disclose immediately," he said.
Thankfully, no patient medical information is believed to be compromised. However, it shows how important it is that every organization that uses credit card processing software needs to make sure it is safe at all times.