Veterans Affairs And Loss Of Private Information

446 words - 2 pages

Department of Veterans Affairs experienced a massive data theft on May 2006.A record breaking 26.5 million veterans sensitive data information went vulnerable due to a simple burglar. The data which got stolen includes names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth, as well as some disability ratings. Three personnel held accountable on this data breach, two of them are rank as a an agency supervisor had been demoted due to not reporting the security data theft immediately to their respective high ranking officials or high ranking personnel such as VA Secretary R. James Nicholson. On the other hand, the data analyst who took home the data and ...view middle of the document...

The GAO-Government Accountability Office (commonly known as the” Congressional Watchdog” organization) has issued multiple reports about VA cyber security problems since 2000, and the VA has received a failing grade in four of the past five years on an annual cyber security review by the House Government Reform Committee. The agency seems to focus on individual medical centers in fixing identified problems, instead of fixing those problems agency wide. Despite of all this mistakes the VA had been very fortunate that the stolen laptop computer and hard drive were turned in by unidentified person on June 29, 2006 and there’s no indication the stolen information has been used in identity theft schemes.
This kind of dilemma could be prevented if the VA agency did not ignore all the warnings given by the auditor in terms of cyber security audits. All they can do now is to prevent this incident to occur once again. They need to make sure that their sensitive data’s information is out of reach to those people who’s trying to steal and take advantage with it. To be able to secure all the data information, they need to encrypt all this data on their data base server and they need to lock the equipment or laptop computer

if it’s not being use. They need to keep this very sensitive information at the work site and nobody is allowed to take it home. If the VA agency can implement all of this simple steps there will be no more 26.5 million veterans sensitive data information are getting vulnerable once again.

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