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Report on VA Contractor Security Weaknesses Offers Lessons

A watchdog agency report highlighting data security violations by a Department of Veterans Affairs medical contractor offers a reminder to all healthcare organizations about similar risks their business associates can pose – especially if BAs are inadequately monitored.

… “While there was no material breach in this [ProCare] case, the risk likelihood in this scenario for one to occur is definitely escalated to a far greater level than if the data had been properly secured in alignment with the many regulatory requirements the VA falls under in accordance with federal government standards,” notes Thad Phillips, principal consultant at tw-Security. “Both public-sector and private-sector covered entities may face these same types of problems depending on the vendor they are working with and, most importantly, how they initially set up their contractual arrangements and business associate agreements.”


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