Safeguarding Patient Data: WVU Medicine’s Response to Recent Data Breach

In an era where data security and privacy are paramount, healthcare organizations shoulder a significant responsibility in safeguarding sensitive patient information. Recent events have brought this issue into sharp focus, as Nuance Communications, a key software solutions provider to healthcare providers, grappled with a data breach stemming from a vulnerability within a vendor’s software. In this article, we will explore the details of this incident, Nuance Communications’ immediate response, and the steps individuals can take to protect their personal data.

The Nuance Communications Data Breach

Nuance Communications recently confronted a data security incident that stemmed from one of its vendors, Progress Software, and more specifically, Progress Software’s MOVEit secure file transfer software. The good news is that this breach did not compromise any of Nuance’s core systems or applications beyond the MOVEit software itself. Moreover, none of Nuance’s critical healthcare solutions were affected. However, personal information belonging to specific individuals within the Progress Software MOVEit environment was exposed.

This breach was the unfortunate consequence of a zero-day vulnerability within the MOVEit software, and it came to light when Progress Software disclosed the incident on May 31, 2023. Nuance Communications took swift action in response. They launched an investigation, led by cybersecurity experts and an external law firm, and promptly notified law enforcement authorities, with whom they are actively cooperating.

The Impact on Individuals

The breach primarily affected individuals who had received radiology services at certain WVU Medicine facilities. The compromised data encompassed various elements, including names, demographic information (such as addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses), gender, date of birth, relative’s names, power of attorney details, health insurance numbers, dates of service, medical facility information, practitioner names, diagnostic study identifiers, clinical data (including treatments, medication information, and diagnoses), and patient identifiers (like medical record numbers).

Crucially, not all impacted individuals had their entire set of data elements exposed, nor did they share identical combinations of data elements. Nevertheless, this incident underscores the critical need to vigilantly protect personal healthcare information.

Nuance’s Response and Future Security Measures

Nuance Communications holds data privacy and security in the highest regard. They have not only taken immediate steps to address this breach but are also committed to preventing similar incidents in the future. To fortify their information security framework, they have been implementing a series of new tools, processes, and procedures to enhance the security of their IT systems.

Protecting Your Personal Information

In light of this incident, individuals must remain vigilant against identity theft and fraud. To safeguard your personal information effectively, consider the following steps:

  1. Review Account Statements: Regularly scrutinize your financial account statements for any suspicious activity and report it promptly to your financial institution.
  2. Monitor Your Credit Reports: Keep a close watch on your credit reports for any unusual or unauthorized changes. You can obtain a free copy of your credit report annually from
  3. Act on Suspicion: If you suspect that your personal information may have been compromised, take immediate action by reporting it to relevant authorities and financial institutions.
  4. Stay Informed: Stay informed about cybersecurity best practices and emerging threats to better protect yourself from potential breaches.


The recent data breach involving Nuance Communications serves as a stark reminder of the constant challenges faced by healthcare organizations in safeguarding patient data. While the breach did not originate within Nuance’s systems, the company has taken swift and comprehensive action to rectify the situation and prevent future incidents. Individuals affected by this breach should also proactively take steps to secure their personal information and remain vigilant against potential identity theft and fraud. In an age where data breaches are increasingly commonplace, cybersecurity remains a collective responsibility for organizations and individuals alike.