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Home Identity Theft Virginia's Prescription Monitoring Database Hacked

Virginia's Prescription Monitoring Database Hacked

Over the weekend, MarketWatch reported hackers broke into the State of Virginia's Prescription Monitoring Program (PMP) database and are demanding a $10 million ransom. The nature of this crime is mind-boggling but not a surprise considering the increasing trend in identity theft. It should serve as an eye-opener to ensure adequate authentication and authorization policies are put in place, especially when databases with large volumes of individual data is managed for state wide use.

The Virginia database is intended for state wide doctors and pharmacies to track, and reduce the abuse and illegal sale of painkillers. It is not clear from the article how the hackers accessed the patient records, but it is obvious that a database of this nature should have a strong authentication solution. However, there are many inherent challenges with the distribution and management of hardware based second factor authentication solutions, chief among them integration and cost. It may be that it is just not plausible for the State to implement a second factor solution, such as "distribute" token based second factor authentication for use by the thousands of potential end users needing access.

Forrester Research's recent report on the State of Enterprise IT confirms that cost and complexity are the top barriers to Identity and Access Management. Delfigo Security has made it a point to address these challenges. Our business model focuses on lowering total cost of ownership, and our technology architecture concentrates on eliminating the hassles of integration, distribution and management.

I agree with Gov. Kaine, "it is difficult to foil every criminal that may want to do something against you". There is a need for manageable, cost effective solutions to prevent these types of brazen criminal acts from becoming regular occurrences.

Bharat Nair is Vice President of Business Development at Delfigo Security, www.delfigosecurity.com, Boston, MA. He can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at 1.617.248.6501.