While cyber attacks, mounted remotely over the Internet, continue to be a core focus for healthcare information security, a newly disclosed breach shows that a simple theft of an unencrypted laptop can still cause big problems.

Premier Healthcare, a multi-specialty group practice in Bloomington, Ind., on January 4 discovered that a laptop holding protected health information on nearly 206,000 individuals had been stolen. The laptop was taken from an administrative office that was protected by an alarm; while it was protected by a password, its information was not encrypted.

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