The Department of Veterans Affairs Information Security Protection Act, a bill recently introduced by U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), hopes to offer “common-sense steps” to protect veterans.
The bill will protect veterans’ personal information in the Department of Veterans Affairs computer network according to a press release from Kirkpatrick’s office. This would allow the VA to improve information security without compromising the agency’s ability to provide healthcare, benefits and services to vets.
“My bill offers some common-sense steps we can take right away to protect veterans,” Kirkpatrick, who is Arizona’s only member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee, said. “By boosting oversight and accountability, we can empower the VA in its core mission of helping the men and women who have served our country.”
Kirkpatrick, the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, is directly connected to ensuring the VA is effective and accountable in handling the personal information of veterans’.
Her legislation, according to the release, would:
— Ensure the VA follows current federal law and practices on information security mandated by other government agencies.
— Require the VA to develop an Information Security Strategic Plan that protects current veterans’ information and anticipates future cybersecurity threats. The VA would be required to consult with agencies such as Defense and Homeland Security to establish best practices.
— Require the VA to report to Congress on its progress in implementing the Information Security Strategic Plan, report VA employee violations of its policy, and report any incidents involving the compromise of veterans’ personal information either by the VA or from outside cyberattacks.