Over the last few years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has been the victim of an assortment of security breaches. Some of these breaches have resulted in gross violations of privacy. Roger Baker is the VA’s CIO and he has long preached the problem being unable to monitor the VA’s network the way it should be. In this coming year, however, the VA is aiming to not only expand visibility of its network, it is planning on monitoring devices hooked into their network as well.
The VA still utilizes laptops without encryption, which are unable to handle the VA’s new security applications. These will be severely reduced over the year as the VA rotates in new laptops able to handle the VA’s security protocol applications.
Once the new initiative is implemented, VA IT will be able to view everything happening on every desktop across the entire network. If an issue presents itself, the team will be able to zero in on where that problem is originating. Once that becomes possible, preventing new security and privacy breaches before damage is done becomes much more obtainable.
Additionally, the VA will be able to monitor devices hooked into the network with a data scanning tool. Thumb drives and other unencrypted devices have been done away with as they have a history of causing problems on the VA’s network.
Additionally, the VA will be able to monitor:
- The condition of their security patches;
- If any devices are failing to comply with VA security protocols;
- If unauthorized devices are connected to the network; and
- To which division the device belongs.
Being able to print out sensitive VA information and bring it home creates a real threat to the VA’s security because there is no way to monitor computer printouts. In Baker’s view, this might be a bigger threat then electronic breaches because there are no paper detection devices. Hopefully this will be the focus of the next set of security goals for the VA network.
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.