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Third-Party Vendor Causes Breach for VA Health

December 29, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
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The Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) disastrous year is ending on an appropriately sour note as the agency revealed a data breach that affected more than 7,000 patients.
 
The agency learned of the breach in November, according to Gov Info Security. It was revealed that an unnamed third-party home telehealth vendor for the VA had a security flaw that exposed the data of more than 7,000 patients. The information exposed in the breach may have included name, address, date of birth, phone number and VA patient identification number, according to FederalNewsRadio.com
 
"An investigation was immediately initiated and security scans were conducted by VA, which confirmed the concern," a VA spokesperson said in a statement. "The contracted vendor has assured VA that only vendor staff and VA staff had accessed this information. The security flaw in the vendor database was immediately corrected and VA continues to closely monitor the application."
 
The telehealth vendor was not named by the VA. The telehealth program is popular for the VA. In 2014 alone, the agency serviced more than 700,000 veterans with more than two million telehealth visits
 
It has been a rough year for the VA, with the scheduling system scandal, which led to long delays for veterans waiting to get serviced, causing a shakeup at the top of the agency. Congress passed a bill that would help the VA solve these delay problems. 
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