Medicaid Breach in South Carolina


April 23, 2012

We talk a lot about the kind of damage that hackers can do if they manage to infiltrate a company’s network. We talk about the havoc that someone could wreak if he stole or found a laptop with company information on it. But we often gloss over or completely neglect to mention the devastation that an unscrupulous or disgruntled employee can cause. Sadly, that’s a mistake that employers live to regret every day.

Department of Health and Human Services employee Christopher Lykes was arrested and, according to WMBF News, charged with “five counts of Medically Indigent Act confidentiality violations and one count of disclosure of confidential information,” for accessing and then emailing to his own Yahoo! email address the personal information of more than 228,000 South Carolina Medicaid recipients. The information that DHHS entrusted to Lykes contained the Medicaid recipients’ names, addresses and Social Security numbers.

No one knows where Lykes sent the information, why he wanted it or what he intended to do with it, all things that DHHS and the State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) are trying to find out. SLED has confiscated Lykes’ company and personal computers, including a laptop, as part of its investigation.

A hole in DHHS’ security system that allowed employees to gain access to sensitive information without having to justify why they needed access to it has since been closed, DHHS director Tony Keck told WMBF.

Incidents like the one involving Sykes serve as excellent examples of why companies need strict email monitoring policies and security measures that prevent employees from emailing, copying to a USB device, or even printing or downloading to their desktops or laptops, sensitive company or client information.

No one likes to feel distrustful of others. Unfortunately, not everyone is honest and trustworthy. So, those business leaders who are truly committed to the success of their businesses will heed the aforementioned cautionary tale and make haste to start plugging the holes in their own security systems.

We're Integris. We're always working to empower people through technology.

Keep reading

Why Baltimore Businesses Are Turning to Outsourced IT Services

Whether you are a legal firm, manufacturing company, or digital marketing company, your business relies on technological infrastructure and security to maintain operations, market products, and secure customer information and data. While some businesses have the...

Integris: Top IT Service in Atlanta & Baltimore 2023

Integris: Top IT Service in Atlanta & Baltimore 2023

Here at Integris, we believe that the key to success is human-centered solutions. Coming together in 2021, we’re a young yet formidable team that’s committed to providing the best services from coast to coast. From cybersecurity monitoring to CISO compliance, our IT...

Understanding HIPAA

Understanding HIPAA

HIPAA stands for the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It was created in 1996 and implemented by the United States Department of Health and Human Services. It was designed to address the use and disclosure of an individual’s health information,...