Recently, Crossroads Health confirmed that the company experienced a data security incident resulting in an unauthorized party gaining access to certain individuals’ sensitive information, including their Social Security numbers and treatment information. If you received a data breach notification, it is essential you understand what is at risk. The data breach lawyers at Console & Associates, P.C. are actively investigating the Crossroads Health data breach on behalf of people whose information was exposed. As a part of this investigation, we are providing free consultations to anyone affected by the breach who is interested in learning more about the risks of identity theft, what they can do to protect themselves, and what their legal options may be to obtain compensation from Crossroads Health. Last year, 1,862 data breaches affected more than 189 million people. On average, victims of identity theft spend 200 hours and over $1,300 recovering their identity. Many victims also suffer emotional distress, credit damage, and may even end up with a criminal record. Taking immediate action is the best way to prevent the worst consequences of a data breach.
What We Know So Far About the Crossroads Health Data Breach
Crossroads Health is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides recovery and mental health services to patients across Ohio. More recently, Crossroads Health began providing primary care services to its patients. The company has several locations throughout Ohio, including in Mentor, Painesville and Willoughby.
According to a notice posted on the company’s website, on January 18, 2022, Crossroads Health identified suspicious activity on some of its computer systems. In response, Crossroads Health engaged in an internal investigation of the incident to determine whether any consumer information was affected. This investigation revealed that the unauthorized party had access to and removed certain files from the company’s servers between the dates of November 21, 2021 to January 18, 2022. On January 24, 2022, the company learned that the compromised data related to clients of Beacon Health, which had since merged with Crossroads Health.
Upon learning of the extent of the security breach, Crossroads Health then reviewed the affected files to determine what information was compromised. The compromised information may include patients’ names, contact information, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, treatment and diagnosis information, and/or health insurance information.
On March 2, 2022, Crossroads Health began sending out data breach notification letters to all individuals whose information was compromised as a result of the recent data security incident. The Crossroads Health data breach is believed to have impacted as many as 10,324 people.
More About the Causes and Risks of Data Breaches
Often, data breaches are the result of a hacker gaining unauthorized access to a company’s computer systems with the intention of obtaining sensitive consumer information. While no one can know the reason why a hacker targeted Crossroads Health, it is common for hackers and other criminals to identify those companies believed to have weak data security systems or vulnerabilities in their networks.
Once a cybercriminal gains access to a computer network, they can then access and remove any data stored on the compromised servers. While in most cases a company experiencing a data breach can identify which files were accessible, there may be no way for the company to tell which files the hacker actually accessed or whether they removed any data.
While the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach does not necessarily mean it will be used for criminal purposes, being the victim of a data breach puts your sensitive data in the hands of an unauthorized person. As a result, you are at an increased risk of identity theft and other frauds, and criminal use of your information is a possibility that should not be ignored.
Given this reality, individuals who receive a Crossroads Health data breach notification should take the situation seriously and remain vigilant in checking for any signs of unauthorized activity. Businesses like Crossroads Health are responsible for protecting the consumer data in their possession. If evidence emerges that Crossroads Health failed to adequately protect your sensitive information, you may be eligible for financial compensation through a data breach lawsuit.
What Are Consumers’ Remedies in the Wake of the Crossroads Health Data Breach?
When individuals decided to seek treatment from Crossroads Health, they assumed that the company would take their privacy concerns seriously. And it goes without saying that consumers would think twice before giving a company access to their information if they knew it wasn’t going to be secure. Thus, data breaches such as this one raise questions about the adequacy of a company’s data security system.
When a business, government entity, non-profit organization, school, or any other organization accepts and stores consumer data, it also accepts a legal obligation to ensure this information remains private. The United States data breach laws allow consumers to pursue civil data breach claims against organizations that fail to protect their information.
Of course, given the recency of the Crossroads Health data breach, the investigation into the incident is still in its early stages. And, as of right now, there is not yet any evidence suggesting Crossroads Health is legally responsible for the breach. However, that could change as additional information about the breach and its causes is revealed.
If you have questions about your ability to bring a data breach class action lawsuit against Crossroads Health, reach out to a data breach attorney as soon as possible.
What Should You Do if You Receive a Crossroads Health Data Breach Notification?
If Crossroads Health sends you a data breach notification letter, you are among those whose information was compromised in the recent breach. While this isn’t a time to panic, the situation warrants your attention. Below are a few important steps you can take to protect yourself from identity theft and other fraudulent activity:
Identify What Information Was Compromised: The first thing to do after learning of a data breach is to carefully review the data breach letter sent. The letter will tell you what information of yours was accessible to the unauthorized party. Be sure to make a copy of the letter and keep it for your records. If you have trouble understanding the letter or what steps you can take to protect yourself, a data breach lawyer can help.
Limit Future Access to Your Accounts: Once you determine what information of yours was affected by the breach, the safest play is to assume that the hacker orchestrating the attack stole your data. While this may not be the case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. To prevent future access to your accounts, you should change all passwords and security questions for any online account. This includes online banking accounts, credit card accounts, online shopping accounts, and any other account containing your personal information. You should also consider changing your social media account passwords and setting up multi-factor authentication where it is available.
Protect Your Credit and Your Financial Accounts: After a data breach, companies often provide affected parties with free credit monitoring services. Signing up for the free credit monitoring offers some significant protections and doesn’t impact any of your rights to pursue a data breach lawsuit against the company if it turns out they were legally responsible for the breach. You should contact a credit bureau to request a copy of your credit report—even if you do not notice any signs of fraud or unauthorized activity. Adding a fraud alert to your account will provide you with additional protection.
Consider Implementing a Credit Freeze: A credit freeze prevents anyone from accessing your credit report. Credit freezes are free and stay in effect until you remove them. Once a credit freeze is in place, you can temporarily lift the freeze if you need to apply for any type of credit. While placing a credit freeze on your accounts may seem like overkill, given the risks involved, it’s justified. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center (“ITRC”), placing a credit freeze on your account is the “single most effective way to prevent a new credit/financial account from being opened.” However, just 3% of data breach victims place a freeze on their accounts.
Regularly Monitor Your Credit Report and Financial Accounts: Protecting yourself in the wake of a data breach requires an ongoing effort on your part. You should regularly check your credit report and all financial account statements, looking for any signs of unauthorized activity or fraud. You should also call your banks and credit card companies to report the fact that your information was compromised in a data breach.
Below is a copy of the data breach notice posted on the Crossroads Health website:
Crossroads Health is committed to protecting the security and privacy of the information we maintain. On March 2, 2022, we began mailing notification letters to individuals whose information may have been involved in a security incident that disrupted the operations of some of our IT systems.
We first identified the incident on January 18, 2022, and immediately took steps to secure our systems, launched an investigation with the assistance of a third-party forensic investigator, and notified law enforcement. The investigation determined that an unauthorized party gained access to our systems from November 21, 2021 to January 18, 2022 and removed some files. On January 24, 2022, we determined that the files were removed from a legacy system that contained information belonging to clients of the former behavioral health facility, Beacon Health, which merged with Crossroads Health.
We conducted an analysis of the files involved in the incident and determined that the following information for clients of Beacon Health was contained in the files: names, contact information, dates of birth, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, treatment and diagnosis information, and/or health insurance information.
For individuals whose information may have been involved, we recommend that they review the statements they receive from all of their healthcare providers and contact the relevant provider immediately if they see services they did not receive appearing on their bill. Additionally, for eligible individuals whose Social Security numbers and/or driver’s license numbers may have been involved in the incident, we are offering complimentary credit monitoring and identity protection services through Experian.
We take this incident very seriously and sincerely regret any concern this may cause. To help prevent something like this from happening again, we have implemented additional safeguards and technical security measures to further protect and monitor its systems. A dedicated call center has been established to answer questions about this incident, which can be reached at (855) 541-3552, Monday through Friday, between 9:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time (excluding major U.S. holidays).