Hackers stole data from at least 4.5 million patients. 4.5 million. Just to name a few pieces of information, this means that hackers have access to names, social security numbers, addresses, birthdays, and telephone numbers. Information regarding credit cards has not been stolen, yet this personal information alone leaves space for identity fraud.
How do you handle this as the PR coordinator? CHS handled it by immediately hiring experts in the cyber-security field to track down where and when the hack took place. The FBI has also been in close contact with the hospital network to bring down the perpetrators as quickly as possible.
The sticky part of CHS' situation is that patients have grounds to CHS for negligence. This takes the situation into legal matters over those regarding publicity.
Community Health Systems' effort to settle the heavy hearts of its patients includes filing with the Securites and Exchange Commission, stating that it "carries cyber/privacy liability insurance to protect it against certain losses related to matters of this nature." CHS reassures patients that hackers' malware has been removed from their systems completely and that extra precaution has been set forth to avoid this type of hack to ever happen again.