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Four Things Middle Market Companies Must Do to Improve Cybersecurity

Hal Conick

Middle market companies talk about cybersecurity, but only 45% have an up-to-date defense plan. How can the middle market protect itself from costly data breaches?

On a warm Ohio morning in August, a Ukrainian hacker threw a middle market health care group into complete disarray. It was random and it was swift. 

The hacker, known as @PravSector, posted 156 GB of patient data from The Central Ohio Urology Group. COUG claimed the breach impacted 300,000 patients. The leak included full names, diagnoses, telephone numbers, insurance account numbers and postal addresses, all posted in plain text on Google Drive, according to DataBreaches.net

In claiming responsibility for the breach, @PravSector told DataBreaches.net the leak was politically motivated, a warning so that “no one thought to poison our people with the virus from secret laboratories.” COUG was not involved with any poisonings or secret laboratories, but the hacker wanted to bring attention to supposed “secret trials of virus in Ukraine” by the U.S. The hacker planned similar leaks, adding, “We are people, and we want to live.”

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Hal Conick is a freelance writer for the AMA’s magazines and e-newsletters. He can be reached at halconick@gmail.com or on Twitter at @HalConick.