NC tech firm to pay $264K fine for Vermont data breach

AP reports that Vermont settled with a subcontractor for its Health Connect service after a breach in which the subcontractor didn’t – and possibly would never have – notified anyone about a breach they had been alerted to:

Vermont’s attorney general says a technology company will pay a $264,000 fine for a data breach that exposed the Social Security numbers of 660 Vermont Health Connect users.

SAManage USA, Inc. allowed a spreadsheet containing the hundreds of social security numbers to be publicly viewed in July 2016, without requiring authentication.

Read more on Sacramento Bee.

The following is the Vermont Attorney General’s press release:

The Attorney General reached a settlement today regarding a security breach involving the Social Security numbers of 660 Vermont Health Connect users. SAManage USA, Inc., a technology company that provides business-support services, agreed to alter its information security and legal compliance programs and to pay a penalty of $264,000.

In July 2016, SAManage’s IT ticketing system allowed an excel spreadsheet containing the 660 social security numbers to be viewed publicly without requiring authentication. A Microsoft Bing web crawler discovered the URL of the spreadsheet and incorporated it into its search results, where it was found by a Vermonter, who reported the breach to the Attorney General. The Attorney General then investigated the SAManage breach. It appeared that due to a miscommunication within the company, this breach would have gone unreported were it not for the Attorney General’s intervention.

“My office takes data breach very seriously,” said Attorney General T.J. Donovan. “Vermonters are increasingly aware of the dangers of mishandling Social Security numbers, and we will continue to protect them by enforcing our data breach and consumer protection laws,” he said. “This is an appropriate penalty given the given the specific facts of this incident and that the company fully cooperated with our investigation.” More information about the Attorney General Donovan’s efforts to protect consumers and address data breaches can be found at http://ago.vermont.gov/focus/consumer-info/privacy-and-data-security1.php.

Published: Sep 29, 2017

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