Spectrum Health Impacted by Blackbaud Data Security Incident
August 31, 2020
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., August 31, 2020 – Spectrum Health is one of the many non-profit organizations affected by the ransomware attack against Blackbaud, Inc., which hosts data for the Spectrum Health Foundation. The cybercriminals were able to remove a copy of a subset of data that included some information from its Foundation.
On July 16, 2020, Spectrum Health was made aware of a global data security incident involving Blackbaud, Inc., which hosts data for the Spectrum Health Foundation. The health system learned that Blackbaud had been the victim of a ransomware attack that was discovered and ended in May of this year. Criminals use ransomware as a way to get companies to pay money to regain access to their electronic information. The cybercriminals were able to remove from Blackbaud’s computer systems data that included information from the Spectrum Health Foundation. Importantly, no Spectrum Health technology, computer networks or systems were impacted by this incident.
This data incident did not involve social security numbers, passwords, credit card or bank information. In fact, such financial-related data are not kept in the Spectrum Health databases hosted by Blackbaud.
Spectrum Health conducted its own independent investigation and learned the data accessed by the cybercriminals included some protected health information of Spectrum Health patients. The information had been included in the Blackbaud database as part of Spectrum Health’s grateful giving program. After a patient receives care at one of its hospitals, the Foundation reaches out to ask whether they would like to say “thank you” to their care team by sending a card or making a donation. Spectrum Health will be contacting patients by mail if their information was included in the Blackbaud incident.
The patient information was limited and may have included name, address, date of birth, email, medical record number, history of making a donation to the Spectrum Health Foundation (if applicable), and other publicly available information.
“At Spectrum Health, we take our data protection responsibilities very seriously and we expect our vendors to do the same,” said Darryl Elmouchi, MD, president, Spectrum Health West Michigan. “We know the community places their trust in us and we work diligently every day to keep that trust. We regret any concern or inconvenience this may cause among our patients.”
This security incident impacted Blackbaud’s clients across the U.S. and around the world, including thousands of other non-profit organizations. To protect individuals’ data and avoid potential identity theft, Blackbaud paid the cybercriminals ransomware demand. According to Blackbaud, they were assured the data file was destroyed. Blackbaud has been working with third-party experts to monitor the web to verify the data accessed by the cybercriminals was destroyed and has not been misused. An incident summary is posted on the Blackbaud website.
In a statement on its website, Blackbaud said in part, “We apologize that this happened and will continue to do our very best to supply help and support as we and our customers jointly navigate this cybercrime incident.”
Spectrum Health encourages patients with questions to call (888) 952-9101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spectrum Health System, a not-for-profit, integrated health system, is committed to improving the health and wellness of our communities. We live our mission every day with 31,000 compassionate professionals, 4,600 medical staff experts, 3,300 committed volunteers and a health plan serving more than 1 million members. Our talented physicians and caregivers are privileged to offer a full continuum of care and wellness services to our communities through 14 hospitals, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, 150 ambulatory sites and telehealth offerings. We pursue health care solutions for today and tomorrow that diversify our offerings. Locally-governed and based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, our health system provided $550 million in community benefit in calendar year 2019. Thanks to the generosity of our communities, we received $37 million in philanthropy to support research, academics, innovation and clinical care. Spectrum Health has been recognized as one of the nation’s 15 Top Health Systems by Truven Health Analytics®, part of IBM Watson HealthTM.