A recent article by Camille Tuutti examines the use of unencrypted communications networks used to transfer sensitive information by the Veterans Affairs Department. The use of these unsecured networks creates the potential for hackers and other pernicious internet users to identify router information in Veterans Affairs and therefore target the agency’s crucial mission systems. A review by the department’s Office of the Inspector General in May of 2012 discovered third parties had conducted unencrypted transfers of information. Although the companies involved signed waivers accepting the security risks associated with a transfer of sensitive information such as IP addresses and health records, this practice undoubtedly puts the entire Veterans Affairs system in jeopardy of a cyber attack.
With federal laws in place ordering health information to be kept in secure locations, the sharing of this unencrypted transferring unsecured personal information will shed light on the need to increase cyber security in all data by Veterans Affairs may result in financial or other penalties. Whether or not the agency is reprimanded, the public investigation into the practice of data sharing and the risks involved with business sectors. The probe also revealed the fairly common practice of exchanging sensitive information with the stipulation that third parties accept the security risks via waivers. This recent example of potential risks associated with transferring sensitive information highlight the growing need to rapidly reform regulations involved with the government’s network telecommunications.
Kevin Lancaster leads Winvale’s corporate growth strategies in both the commercial and government markets. He develops and drives solutions to meet Winvale’s business goals while enabling an operating model to help staff identify and respond to emerging trends that affect both Winvale and the clients it serves. He is integrally involved in all aspects of managing the firm’s operations and workforce, leading efforts to improve productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.