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Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs


VA Secretary Announces Agreement on Data Breach Analysis

August 9, 2006

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ID Analytics to Provide Services to Department 

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson today announced the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has entered into an agreement with a company that will provide free data breach analysis services to VA to ensure that information contained on computer equipment stolen in May from a VA employee’s home – and later recovered by law enforcement – was not compromised.

ID Analytics, a California-based company, will conduct the analysis across multiple industries to detect patterns of misuse and determine whether or not there is any suspicious activity specifically related to this computer equipment theft.  The company will provide VA an initial analysis, and will then continue to offer its assessments on a quarterly basis.

Protecting veterans from fraud and abuse remains an important priority for VA,” said Secretary Nicholson.  “Data breach analysis will provide VA with additional assurances that veterans’ personal information remains unharmed.”

On July 13, the FBI indicated it is highly confident the data stored on the recovered computer equipment was not accessed or compromised.  On August 5, Montgomery County, Md., Police announced the arrests of two men they believe are responsible for the theft.  According to law enforcement authorities, the arrested men did not specifically target the computer equipment.  Authorities also provided reassurances that the information was not compromised.

Prior to the arrests, VA indicated that, out of an abundance of caution and to further safeguard the recovered information, the Department would conduct data breach analysis.  VA’s agreement with ID Analytics fulfills this commitment.  

ID Analytics’ real-time system comprises more than three billion identity elements contributed by its members, which include the largest U.S. industry leaders from across the credit card, wireless telecommunications, and instant lending industries.  ID Analytics’ services are used daily by more than half the credit and retail card issuer market in the United States, as well as leading wireless and online consumer finance companies.

Secretary Nicholson also reiterated VA’s commitment to improving the Department’s information technology and cyber security policies and procedures.  

“VA remains unwavering in its resolve to become the leader in protecting personal information, training and educating our employees in best practices, and establishing a culture that always puts the safekeeping of veterans’ personal information first,” Nicholson said.

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