Albany ENT & Allergy Services Data Breach Affects Over 224,000 Patients

  • Albany ENT & Allergy Services, a New York-based healthcare organization, has reported a significant data breach potentially affecting 224,486 individuals, with unauthorized access to systems storing names and social security numbers.
  • In response to the breach, AENT is offering twelve months of free credit monitoring services through Kroll and providing affected individuals with detailed guidance on protecting against identity theft and fraud. Law enforcement and relevant regulatory bodies have been notified.

Albany, NY – Albany ENT & Allergy Services, PC (AENT), a prominent healthcare organization based in Albany, New York, recently reported a significant data breach. According to a notification submitted to the Maine Attorney General’s Office, the breach potentially compromised the personal and health-related data of 224,486 individuals.

The breach reportedly occurred between March 23 and April 4, 2023, but it was only discovered by AENT on May 2, 2023. Lauren Ayres, the CEO of AENT, described the incident as an “external system breach (hacking)” in her submission.

Upon detecting suspicious activities on its computer network on March 27, 2023, AENT immediately enlisted the help of third-party computer forensic specialists to ascertain the severity and scope of the incident. The ensuing investigation revealed that an unauthorized actor had possibly gained access to some of the organization’s systems storing personal and protected health information.

The potentially compromised data includes individuals’ names and social security numbers. As of this moment, AENT claims there is no evidence of identity theft or fraudulent activity linked to this breach.

However, as a precaution, AENT is offering twelve months of free credit monitoring services through Kroll to those individuals whose data may have been affected. Furthermore, the healthcare provider is providing detailed guidance to these individuals on how to guard against potential identity theft and fraud.

Ayres, in her role as CEO, is notifying those individuals whose data was present in AENT’s systems at the time of the incident. AENT is also sending notifications to the necessary state and federal regulators, the three major credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and several media outlets in compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

In the wake of this incident, AENT is reportedly conducting an ongoing investigation and working assiduously to bolster the security of its systems. They also alerted law enforcement about the breach.

Affected individuals are advised to stay vigilant for incidents of fraud and identity theft by reviewing account statements and monitoring free credit reports regularly. Any suspected incidents of identity theft or fraud should be reported promptly to their credit card company, bank, the Federal Trade Commission, their state Attorney General, and law enforcement.

Albany ENT & Allergy Services is a comprehensive healthcare center that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of ear, nose, and throat disorders. Boasting advanced facilities and an experienced team of providers, the center provides services that include but are not limited to basic ENT care, advanced sinus surgery, allergy treatments, audiology, as well as snoring and sleep apnea treatment.