Protecting Patient Privacy: North Carolina Hospitals Respond to Cybersecurity Breach

In a digital age, the security of personal data is paramount. Recent revelations concerning a massive international cyber attack have sent shockwaves through North Carolina’s healthcare system, with prominent institutions such as UNC, Duke, Atrium, and ECU potentially falling victim to a major breach. This alarming incident, which came to light earlier this year, has exposed the vulnerability of healthcare data, raising concerns about patient privacy and cybersecurity.

The Breach and Its Origins

The breach revolves around a cyber attack that targeted Nuance Communications, a healthcare software company. Nuance fell victim to this hack through its use of Progress Software’s MOVEit service, a platform employed to transfer patient information securely. The breach, which occurred on May 28 and 29, 2023, raised alarms across the healthcare community as it potentially jeopardized sensitive patient data.

The attack was not an isolated incident; rather, it was orchestrated by a criminal group with suspected ties to Russia, a nation known for harboring various cybercrime organizations. The group, known as CL0P, employed ransomware tactics, encrypting data and demanding ransoms for its release. The attack on Nuance reflects a concerning trend in the proliferation and sophistication of ransomware attacks across various sectors, from small businesses to major multinational corporations.

The Impacted Healthcare Providers

The fallout from this breach extends to more than a dozen hospital systems and healthcare providers, including some of North Carolina’s most esteemed institutions:

  • Duke University Health System
  • UNC Health
  • Atrium Health
  • Novant Health, Inc.
  • Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center
  • WakeMed Health & Hospitals
  • University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, Inc. (ECU Health)
  • Catawba Valley Medical Center
  • Charlotte Radiology, PA
  • DLP Central Carolina Medical Center, LLC
  • FirstHealth of the Carolinas, Inc.
  • Mission Health System
  • Wake Radiology Diagnostic Imaging, Inc.
  • West Virginia University Health System

Despite the breach, many of these healthcare providers have been swift to emphasize their commitment to patient privacy and data security. They have cooperated closely with Nuance Communications and encouraged affected patients to seek assistance and guidance.

Protecting Patient Data

In response to the breach, Nuance Communications has taken immediate steps to mitigate the damage and strengthen its cybersecurity measures. The company has set up a hotline (888-988-0380) for individuals with questions and concerns regarding the breach. They’ve also urged affected individuals to remain vigilant against incidents of identity theft and fraud.

As a preventive measure, individuals are advised to:

  • Review their account statements diligently for any suspicious activity.
  • Monitor their credit reports for any unusual changes or unauthorized access.
  • Obtain a free copy of their credit report through or by calling (877) 322-8228.


The recent cyber attack on Nuance Communications serves as a stark reminder of the constant threat to data security in our interconnected world. While the breach has caused significant concern, healthcare providers and technology companies must work collaboratively to strengthen defenses against such threats.

In this digital age, where personal information is increasingly valuable, safeguarding patient privacy and maintaining robust cybersecurity measures are imperative. The incident in North Carolina underscores the need for ongoing vigilance and investment in cybersecurity to protect sensitive healthcare data and ensure the trust and safety of patients.