Bloomberg Law: Privacy & Data Security brings you single-source access to the expertise of Bloomberg Law’s privacy and data security editorial team, contributing practitioners,...
Technology company SAManage USA Inc. Sept. 29 agreed to pay $264,000 to Vermont to settle claims it failed to protect Social Security numbers associated with the state’s health-care exchange.
The settlement highlights the ongoing data security risks when hiring third-party vendors. Vulnerabilities in vendor information systems have been blamed in many incidents, including the hack of the credit card processing system at Target Corp., the premature release of episodes of Netflix Inc.s “Orange is the New Black,” and the targeting of a contractor hired by the Republican National Committee.
The settlement stems from a Vermont citizen’s tip to the state’s attorney general’s office that an Excel spreadsheet containing names and 660 Social Security numbers related to the state’s health-care exchange was publicly available online. The spreadsheet was posted to SAManage’s internal ticketing system by an employee of WEX Health Inc., which was picked up by a Microsoft Corp.'s Bing web crawler and incorporated into publicly available search results. The web crawler was able to access the URL of the spreadsheet because there weren’t sufficient authentication procedures in place.
The investigation found that the “breach would have gone unreported” because of “a miscommunication within the company,” the attorney general’s office said Sept. 29 in a statement. The attorney general then brought claims under state consumer protection and security breach notice laws.
In addition to the financial settlement, SAManage, which provided support services as a subcontractor for Vermont Health Connect, agreed to implement a comprehensive information security program designed to protect consumers’ personally identifiable information. The tech company also agreed to “implement policies and procedures to ensure continued compliance with Vermont Law,” the settlement said.
Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan (D) said in a statement Sept. 29 that his office will continue to enforce “data breach and consumer protection laws,” and that the settlement was “appropriate given the specific facts” and the company’s willingness to cooperate in the investigation.
Ryan Van Biljon, vice president of sales and services at SAManage, told Bloomberg BNA Sept. 29 that the company “worked diligently with the AG of Vermont to comply with all of their requests” surrounding the settlement. SAManage also “did make a security change after the event which forces authentication on any and all external links to files contained on the platform,” he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Daniel R. Stoller in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Donald Aplin at email@example.com
Text of the settlement is available at http://src.bna.com/sZD.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)