securty breachLake Havasu City, AZ – In today’s technological world, intelligence officials are saying cybersecurity now trumps terrorism as the number 1 threat to the American people.  According to a report done by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, an agency that tracks cyber incidents at all levels of government, since 2006 more than 87 million sensitive or private federal agency records have been compromised.  U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team found that for every data breach, the federal government will spend roughly $201 per compromised record.  “What makes these threats so terrifying is that there is no requirement that the federal government publicize these breaches or notify anyone that their personal information has been hacked,” Supervisor Buster Johnson, 1st Vice President of the National Association of Counties Cybersecurity Task Force, stated. As millions of Americans sign up for health insurance during this year’s open enrollment period on healthcare.gov, several cybersecurity experts are concerned for the taxpayer’s privacy.  Lamar Smith, chair of a congressional committee looking after the security of the website, told Fox news that the website is unsecure and very easy to hack.  “The federal healthcare website is one of the largest federal databases of personal information,” Supervisor Johnson stated.  Healthcare.gov collects personal information such as first and last names, home addresses, social security numbers and payment information.  “When data breaches occur at Home Depot or Target, there are requirements in place that require these businesses to notify individuals that their information could have been compromised.  Yet when it comes to the federal government, they are not required to notify the taxpayers when their information is compromised,” Johnson continued. The only federal law involving data breach notification is in regards to Health Insurance Portability & Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).  Under rules put in place by the act, doctors and hospitals have 10 days to notify patients in the case of a breach regarding personal information protected under HIPPA.  According to David Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSEC, an Ohio-based cybersecurity firm, health plans are covered by HIPAA, but the process of choosing and purchasing a plan through the federal exchange — along with any information entered into the federal exchange as part of that process — is not subject to HIPAA protections. From 2009 to 2013, the number of reported breaches just on federal computer networks such as .gov and .mils rose from 26,942 to 46,605, according to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team.  “Federal agencies are among the most vulnerable when it comes to cyber attacks,” Johnson said.  “Notification requirements need to be put in place.  These breaches are costing taxpayer dollars and also putting not only Americans at risk but the security of our nation,” Johnson ended.

 

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