48,000 Federal Employees Exposed by Data Breach

What happened?

KeyPoint Government Solutions, a contractor of the federal government responsible for conducting employee background checks, has suffered a data breach.

The Department of Homeland Security National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center discovered the breach after they were tipped off to a potential security lapse of one of their background check contractors, reports Nextgov.

At the time of this post, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has notified 48,439 federal employees of the breach. OPM is now working with the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the incident.

Despite notifying tens of thousands of employees of a potential breach, officials have stated that upon their initial investigation, they have found no evidence of exposed PII. Donna Seymour, the agency’s Chief Information Officer explains, “OPM has elected to conduct these notifications out of “an abundance of caution.”

Free credit monitoring services are being offered to federal employees potentially impacted by the breach.

It is important to note that this is the second time a government-contracted, private background check company has been breached in 2014. USIS, a leading background check provider for the U.S. government, was breach in August 2014. The breach impacted approximately 25,000 federal employees.

What should you do?

Federal employees who are concerned that they may have had their information exposed in this breach should take the following measures:

    1. Monitor your bank statements for unusual transactions
    2. Check your credit report with all three bureaus
    3. Report any unusual activity; remember, credit card companies will not hold customers liable for fraudulent charges as long as they are reported quickly
    4. Contact your financial institution to set up email or text alerts for your credit or debit cards
    5. Consider placing a credit freeze on your account
    6. Notify your fraud protection provider of the incident
    7. Communicate with Human Resources
    8. Stay up-to-date with the latest fraud and identity theft developments by subscribing to Fighting Identity Crimes or connecting with EZShield on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+

Learn more about data breaches and how to protect your personal information today.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
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