Much about Phoenix-based Banner Health is big. The non-profit health system employs many thousands of people and operates hospitals and specialized clinics in many states. Banner Health’s patient list is long, and its revenues impressively large.
These days, what might reasonably strike many people as being particularly outsized about Banner is the sheer magnitude of its litigation woes. Those are linked with the company’s disclosure this past August of a data breach that might have compromised the personal data of 3.7 million patients who use Banner’s services.
Such a potentially large records hack has understandably bred great concerns in the general public and, concomitantly, a reported “flurry of civil lawsuits from a doctor and patients who allege harm from the data breach.”
Litigation has been filed in both Maricopa County Superior Court and in federal court in Phoenix.
In commenting on the filings, a Banner spokesperson says that the company will not divulge details, given that the judicial claims against the health provider are pending.
Banner’s problems are far from being singular or isolated within the health care industry, given the clear attraction that medical and related records hold for cyber criminals. As one recent Arizona media report on the large-scale Banner hack earlier this year notes, hackers view medical records/data “as an easy target that can retrieve a lucrative return when sold on the dark web.”
That is of course scary, especially since confirmation regarding the attractiveness of medical targets for hackers is readily provided by other instances of hacking. Reportedly, Anthem Blue Cross suffered an attack of unprecedented proportions early last year involving the potential pilfering of confidential information from close to 80 million people.
Cyber attacks against business are both a well-entrenched reality and a growing phenomenon. As such, it is unquestionable that they will increasingly feature as subject matter in civil and criminal litigation.
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