The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has had a tough time over the last couple of years securing their network and avoiding veterans’ sensitive information from becoming public. The VA’s network has been breached both internally and externally suffering both electronic breaches and physical theft.
The VA network now faces a new, internal threat to its security: iPads. The vast majority of doctors, clinicians, and VA field employees use and rely on iPads to the point where they are becoming necessary to perform daily job duties. The VA, however, fears the iPad encryption is not at the level where it must be to protect the information the VA is charged with protecting.
At the same time, it is very clear to everyone the electronic devices will be used whether or not the VA finds a way to allow the electronic devices to safely exist on the VA network.
To the users, the value of the iPads outweighs following VA protocol, which currently forbids using such devices if they come into contact with any veterans’ personal information.
Roger Baker is the VA’s Chief Information Officer (CIO), and he wants to allow iPad access to the VA network. He understands not only the value of the devices, but the sheer amount of them being used to perform VA work.
There are about 100,000 medical residents making their way through the VA every year. Almost every one of them knows what websites to access to help them perform their duties and almost every one of them has an electronic device. The VA is fighting a losing battle by continuing to prohibit such electronic devices on their network.
Consequently, the VA has implemented a pilot program. Certain VA employees have been given iPads, which will be used in select conditions requiring less strict network security. The aim of the program is to bring the VA up to speed working with iPads by the time the network can support their use.
If you are a disabled veteran who has been denied disability compensation or have not yet applied for benefits from the VA, contact Veterans Help Group. You may be entitled to certain programs and benefits so contact our veterans disability rights firm today.