The Department of Veterans Affairs in at least Nebraska and South Dakota routinely transmits unencrypted personally identifiable information on beneficiaries, including medical information and Social Security numbers, among medical centers, clinics and business partners such as teleradiologists, according to the VA’s Office of Inspector General.
“VA has not implemented technical configuration controls to ensure encryption of sensitive data despite VA and Federal information security requirements,” the OIG notes in a report issued on March 6 and available here. Moreover, VA Office of Information and Technology Management “acknowledged this practice and formally accepted the security risk of potentially losing or misusing the sensitive information, exchanged via a waiver; however, the use of a system security waiver was not appropriate,” according to the report.
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