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Stolen laptop causes expensive headaches
1/24/2012
 
The New York Times recently highlighted the saga of a small nonprofit health consultancy that ended up spending nearly $300,000 in legal, private investigation, credit monitoring, and media consultancy fees after losing a laptop with unencrypted records for about 14,000 patients.

Plus, the company estimates it spent about 600 hours dealing with the fallout and repairing its reputation. It assembled a crisis team of lawyers and customers and a chief security officer. They hired a private investigator to scour local pawnshops and Craigslist for the stolen laptop, the Times reported.

The laptop was stolen from an employee’s car. The company has since adopted a policy of encrypting healthcare records. It also destroyed all patient data on mobile devices and temporarily prohibited employees from removing patient data from clients’ offices.

“The number of reported breaches is up 32 percent this year from last year, according to the Ponemon Institute, a security research group. Those breaches cost the industry an estimated $6.5 billion last year. In almost half the cases, a lost or stolen phone or personal computer was responsible,” the Times added.