ABC News in Philadelphia–WPVI–reports that Cooper University Hospital is missing a USB thumb drive containing sensitive personal data on medical students, residents, and fellows.
It is unknown whether the thumb drive was stolen, or simply lost. But, what is known is that the missing thumb drive contains Social Security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers of the affected individuals.
Cooper University Hospital issues a statement explaining “Cooper University Hospital is investigating the circumstances surrounding a missing thumb drive. The thumb drive contained information with personal data about graduate medical education residents and fellows for the current and prior academic years. We have advised the residents and fellows who were advised to contact their local police. No other employee information was compromised. Further, No patient information or records were compromised.”
There is no indication that the data on the thumb drive was a violation of policy in any way, but it is worth noting that USB thumb drives are a significant security concern for all organizations. Portable storage media capable of holding 32Gb or more of data could contain untold volumes of sensitive or confidential information. IT admins should employ Zecurion’s Zlock to restrict access for storing data on removable media. For additional data protection, the data on removable or portable media should also be encrypted so it can’t be compromised even if the device is lost or stolen.