Notice of Data Breach
Houston Area Community Services, Inc. d/b/a Avenue 360 recently learned that an unauthorized individual may have obtained access to a limited number of employees’ email accounts between January 15, 2021 and April 2, 2021. Avenue 360 immediately launched an investigation in consultation with outside cybersecurity professionals who regularly investigate and analyze these types of situations to analyze the extent of any compromise of the email accounts and the security of the emails and attachments contained within them. Avenue 360 devoted considerable time and effort to determine what information was contained in the affected email accounts. Based on its comprehensive investigation and document review, Avenue 360 discovered on November 9, 2021 that the compromised email accounts contained a limited amount of personal information, including patient or employee names in combination with one or more of the following: date of birth, clinical/treatment information, prescription information, diagnoses, health insurance information, medical record number, and in limited instances, financial information or Social Security numbers.
To date, Avenue 360 is not aware of any reports of identity fraud or improper use of any information as a direct result of this incident. Nevertheless, out of an abundance of caution, Avenue 360 is providing written notification of this incident to affected patients and employees for whom it has a last-known mailing address commencing on or about January 5, 2022. Avenue 360 is offering the affected individuals whose Social Security numbers were impacted complimentary one-year memberships with a credit monitoring service. Avenue 360 is advising the affected individuals about the process for placing fraud alerts and/or security freezes on their credit files and obtaining free credit reports. The affected individuals are also being provided with the contact information for the consumer reporting agencies and the Federal Trade Commission. The affected individuals whose treatment/diagnosis and or health insurance policy information was impacted are also being provided steps to take to safeguard themselves against medical identity theft.
At Avenue 360, protecting the privacy of personal information is a top priority. Avenue 360 is committed to maintaining the privacy of personal information in its possession and has taken many precautions to safeguard it. Since this incident, Avenue 360 has improved its security by deploying anti-spam technology and multifactor authentication, among other things. Avenue 360 continually evaluates and modifies its practices and internal controls to enhance the security and privacy of personal information.
Individuals with questions concerning this incident or those who would like to determine if they were impacted may call (877) 653-0536 using Engagement Number: B023153. The call is toll-free Monday through Friday from 8 am – 10 pm Central, or Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 7 pm Central (excluding major U.S. holidays).