Report: Data held by federal agencies remains at risk
Last Friday, the House Government Reform Committee released a report highlighting government agencies who have experienced data loss incidents along with the number of individuals affected.
The report is staggering. 19 agencies have reported breaches since January 2003 and it is not known if the individuals affected were ever notified of the data loss.
These are the conclusions drawn from the report:
- Data loss is a government-wide occurrence.
- Agencies do not always know what has been lost.
- Physical security of data is essential.
- Contractors are responsible for many of the reported breaches.
Listed below are the agencies mentioned in the report:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Homeland Security
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Department of the Interior
- Department of Justice
- Department of Labor
- Department of State
- Department of Transportation
- Department of the Treasury
- Department of Veterans Affairs
- Office of Personnel Management
- Social Security Administration
Taken as a whole, the agency reports outline hundreds of instances of data breaches involving sensitive personal information since January 1, 2003. The reports show a wide range of incidents, involving employee carelessness, contractor misconduct, and third-party thefts. The number of individuals affected in each incident ranges from one to millions. However, in many cases, the agency does not know what information was lost or how many individuals potentially could be affected. Few of these incidents have been reported publicly, and it is unclear in many cases whether affected individuals have been notified or whether remedial action has been taken.
Be sure to take the time to read the fifteen page report. There has to be at least one agency which affects you.Protect yourself and your family, guaranteed!