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Veterans Affairs and Loss of Private Information

In: Other Topics

Submitted By bonex71
Words 446
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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 resulted for being stolen had been fired due to his action has violated agency procedure. The agency has estimated that it will cost between $100 million to $500 million to prevent and cover possible losses from the data theft. Though the theft occurred on May 3, 2006, the agency waited until May 22, 2006 to those who were affected. The delay was just one of many failures by Veterans Affairs in this incident. 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…...

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