Investigation over after IH finds no further breaches of employee information

By on December 21, 2017
(Photo courtesy of the Interior Health Authority).

Interior Health (IH) has ended its investigation into a breach of the personal information of 500 current and former employees, finding no evidence of any further breaches.

The review, which spanned two months, was unable to determine how the breach occurred, or whether the information was accessed by a single person or multiple people internal or external to the IH.

That conclusion comes after receiving assistance from an external privacy and security expert, stated an IH press release.

Lower Mainland RCMP brought the breaches to the health authority’s attention, after arresting two individuals on two separate occasions in June and September who were in possession of employees’ personal information.

The subsequent investigation by IH did identify December 2009 as a point in which unknown access to an employee database appears to have occurred.

This database contained the personal information of all individuals employed with IH between January 2003 and December 2009, including social insurance numbers, dates of birth, email and mailing addresses, phone numbers, and/or former last name.

“We are stressing to these individuals there is no indication their information has been breached or used in an unlawful way,” said Mal Griffin, Vice-President for Human Resources. “Still, we want employees to be aware that the 2009 database was unknowingly accessed and they should be diligent, as we all should be, with personal information.”

IH is now urging all employees from that timeframe to take extra precautions with their personal information as a result of its findings.

If employees have concerns that their information may have been breached or they may have been a victim of identity theft, they are advised to contact call both the RCMP and IH.

IH has established a phone line for those concerns.

Anyone past or current employees who believe their information may have been breached can contact IH at 1-877-469-7059 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.

“Recognizing that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada, at Interior Health we are doing our part by continually monitoring and enhancing our systems and processes,” said Griffin. “What we have in place today is far more advanced than in 2009.”

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