The recent information security breach at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), in which personal data on millions of veterans were compromised, has highlighted the importance of the department's security weaknesses, as well as the ability of federal agencies to protect personal information. Robust federal security programs are critically important to properly protect this information and the privacy of individuals. GAO was asked to testify on VA's information security program, ways that agencies can prevent improper disclosures of personal information, and issues concerning notifications of privacy breaches. In preparing this testimony, GAO drew on its previous reports and testimonies, as well as on expert opinion provided in congressional testimony and other sources.
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