It took five months and a 79-page report to do it, but the Department of Veterans Affairs has finally pointed its finger for a high-profile data breach.
The VA’s Office of the Inspector General blames the IT specialist and two directors at the Birmingham, Alabama VA Medical Center for the January loss of an external hard drive that contained confidential information on 250,000 veterans and 1.3 million medical providers. Its report, issued late last week, says the director and associate director of the Birmingham center’s Research Enhancement Award Program (REAP) did not enforce policies that were in place to protect sensitive data, and they improperly allowed the IT specialist access to confidential information. The report also slams the IT specialist for not safeguarding the personal information and for not cooperating with the initial investigation into the missing hard drive.
Among the findings in the report:
- The IT specialist provided inaccurate information to investigators looking into the hard drive’s disappearance.
- Data loss is a “systemic problem throughout the government.”
- A policy that prohibits the storage of unencrypted sensitive data on portable devices was ignored.
- The IT specialist was granted access to information to which he was not entitled.
- The REAP director and associate director had their VA email automatically forwarded to external accounts, in violation of policy.
Assistant Inspector General James O’Neill, who wrote the report, recommends taking “appropriate action” against the IT specialist, the REAP director and associate director, as well as the the medical center director and another administrator, for their roles in the incident. The report came out one day after SearchSecurityChannel.com posted this story on channel opportunities in government security, “Government computer security upgrades bring more channel work.”
Microsoft testing free data storage ‘in the cloud’ Hosted storage system is for personal files and accessing and sharing files publicly — with access controls. [eWEEK]
AT&T works to fix iPhone activation woes While blogs continue to simmer with complaints from people who waited months to buy an iPhone and now are experiencing problems activating it, AT&T Inc. said Sunday that the situation has improved. [AP]
Piper Jaffray: 500,000 iPhones sold over the weekend Blog: A quantitative estimate of Apple’s weekend iPhone sales has been released, surpassing some of the more optimistic analysts last week. [CNET]
IPhone launch day arrives After six months of unprecedented hype, thousands of people Friday will get their hands on the iPhone, the new cell phone that Apple Inc. is banking on to become its third core business next to its moneymaking iPod players and Macintosh computers. [AP]
Exchange Server Rollup 3: An IMAP fix for the iPhone? Microsoft rolled out on June 28 the third rollup of fixes for Exchange Server 2007, a product introduced in December 2006. Is an IMAP fix that could affect iPhone syncrhonization among those fixes? [All About Microsoft]
Four managed services software vendors are joining forces to help the channel better integrate their products.
The Kaseya Alliance Program matches Kaseya, a managed services automation vendor, with these three charter members: Autotask, which sells hosted business operations software; Catbird Networks, a managed security provider; and Tigerpaw Software, a CRM developer. Kaseya plans to add an application program interface to the alliance later this year to make it easier for the vendors to work together.
In a press release issued this week, Dan Shapero, Kaseya’s senior vice president of marketing, said the alliance will improve the vendors’ service and support. The release also quotes two channel partners, Computronix and Infinity Business Systems, who said the alliance will make it easier for them to integrate the vendors’ products for their customers.
This week has been a busy one for Catbird, which announced its buzz-generating VM security appliance, V-Agent, on Monday.
Multiple vulnerabilities in Cisco IOS while processing SSL packets Cisco IOS devices may crash while processing malformed Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) packets. In order to trigger these vulnerabilities, a malicious client must send malformed packets during the SSL protocol exchange with the vulnerable device. [Cisco]
Solving the Web security challenge Unprecedented amounts of data will need to be secured in new, untested ways. What’s the best course to pursue in such uncharted territory? [CNET]
HP, Quantum bundle SAN file system for multimedia HP and Quantum package up HP’s EVA array and Quantum’s StorNext SAN file system and are referencing big multimedia customers, including Warner Bros. [SearchStorage.com] Continued »
Oracle announced today a new program aimed at bringing downscaled versions of its software to small and midsized businesses (SMBs) through resellers and regional systems integrators (SIs).
Through the Value Added Distributor (VAD) Remarketer program, resellers and customers will be able to purchase SMB-tailored software under a simplified, standard licensing agreement. Those purchases will have to go through Oracle’s VAD remarketers, currently Ingram Micro and Tech Data. Resellers selling those products will not have to join the Oracle Partner Network (OPN), which requires a contract and a program fee.
Oracle products currently require lengthy, complex licensing agreements that are reworked for each deal — a process too cumbersome for most small-scale deals, according to Judson Althoff, Oracle’s vice president of global platform and distribution sales.
The SMB Technology line of products are bundled applications that include various elements of the Oracle stack prepackaged for a given application, such as business intelligence (BI) or database. Resellers or SIs who want to sell Oracle’s higher-end enterprise line of products will still have to join the OPN and work with the more complex licensing agreements.
Stay tuned for more news on the VAD Remarketer program from SearchSystemsChannel.com .
New HP program angers enterprise storage VARs Hewlett-Packard’s new Fast-Track program to quickly enable ProLiant server solution providers to sell its EVA 4100 enterprise storage array has some of its enterprise storage partners up in arms. [ChannelWeb]
Dell to offer Ubuntu on more systems Dell isn’t resting on its recent consumer Linux PC laurels. The computing giant has added a new laptop — the Inspiron 1420 Notebook — to its Ubuntu Linux 7.04 offering. It is also replacing the Dimension E520 desktop with the new, low-priced Inspiron 530. [DesktopLinux]
The study, sponsored by Torrance, Calif.-based email service provider Live Office LLC and conducted by Osterman Research has significance for value-added resellers who want to frame a convincing message to clients that preserving electronic documents can save them time, money and pain, researchers say.
Drilling down into the numbers shows that almost a third of the 400 IT managers and end-users surveyed believe they can’t produce a one-year-old e-mail within a reasonable time – even in response to a subpoena or other legal procedure during a lawsuit. Continued »
New threat attacks transactions in Microsoft browsers Windows shops can protect themselves against man-in-the-browser attacks with third-party tools and client-side certifications. [SearchWinIT.com]
Cisco vows to maintain IronPort tech, talent As it completes the purchase of IronPort Systems, Cisco vows to maintain IronPort’s talent base and make investments to keep its newly-acquired technology fresh.[SearchNetworking.com]
New way in for Cisco engineers Certifications get rejigged. [TheReg]
IBM to pay settlement in customer’s financial scandalI.B.M. agreed to pay $7 million as part of a settlement of a federal regulatory investigation involving Dollar General’s 2000 financial statements. [NYT] Continued »
A sunny hiring season for job seekers As unemployment rates dip below peak dot-com boom levels, companies are competing fiercely for the brightest new college grads. [CNET]
High-tech titans strike out on immigration bill Technology executives are trying to shape the Senate immigration bill to meet their demand for foreign workers, but they have had only limited success. [NYT]
Release of iPhone has industry abuzz There’s hype. There’s hysteria. And there’s history. The hype around Apple Inc.’s upcoming iPhone is abundantly clear. So is the hysteria. But how the iPhone will leave its historical mark after Friday’s launch is to be seen. [AP] Continued »