Hackers Breach CMS Healthcare Portal for Insurers, Access 75K Files

The U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has suffered a data breach that allowed hackers to access 75,000 files on Healthcare.gov, a government health insurance exchange website used by insurance agents and brokers.

CMS last week detected anomalous activity in Healthcare.gov’s Federally Facilitated Exchange (FFE) Direct Enrollment pathway for insurance agents and brokers, according to a prepared statement. It confirmed the data breach, took steps to secure its system and consumer information and notified federal law enforcement.

Insurance agent and broker accounts associated with the Healthcare.gov data breach have been deactivated, and the Direct Enrollment pathway has been disabled, CMS stated. Meanwhile, Healthcare.gov and the CMS Marketplace Call Center remain operational.

CMS is working to address the Healthcare.gov data breach and implement additional security measures, the agency said. It also plans to restore the system’s Direct Enrollment pathway by the end of the week.

US DoD ‘Just Beginning to Grapple’ with Weapons Systems Cybersecurity

In addition to the CMS data breach, the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) is “just beginning to grapple” with weapons systems cybersecurity, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.

DoD routinely found mission-critical cyber vulnerabilities in weapons controls systems that were under development, the GAO report indicated. DoD operational system testers also were able to take control of weapons controls systems without being detected.

Is Cybersecurity a Problem for Government Agencies?

Seventy-one percent of U.S. federal agencies have suffered a data breach, and 57 percent have experienced a data breach in the past year, according to the “2018 Thales Data Threat Report: Federal Government Edition” from Thales and 451 Research.

U.S. federal agencies often are targeted by cybercriminals but are forced to deal with a lack of IT security funding and staffing and antiquated systems, Thales noted. However, 93 percent of U.S. federal agencies are expected to increase their IT security spending, and 73 percent anticipate their IT security spending will be “much higher” than ever before.

Government Cybersecurity Market Projected to Grow

Cybersecurity solutions enable U.S. government agencies to maintain data confidentiality by monitoring, detecting, reporting and countering cyber threats, market research firm Technavio indicated. As such, the demand for government cybersecurity solutions likely will increase in the foreseeable future.

The government cybersecurity market is projected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 8 percent between 2017 and 2021, according to Technavio. Meanwhile, MSSPs that can safeguard U.S. federal agencies against cyberattacks could capitalize on the rising demand for government cybersecurity solutions.


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