If you work for the Federal government, this is your worst nightmare. Your social security number is no longer secure and is quite possibly in the hands of the Chinese. It is likely to also be in the hands of criminals already who can make your life miserable for a very long time.
You can read details of the new plan to protect those affected by the hack here but it is not reassuring since you are already exposed.
Ensuring the integrity, privacy and security of employee data is key to a trusting and engaged workforce. Without that foundation, nothing else that is done will make a difference.
We’re moving into science-fiction disaster territory as the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) admits that more than 22 million employees personal records have been stolen. But, the OPM has a new, improved plan to protect their records.
This 22 million number is even higher than the FBI’s leaked 18 million figure. On an OPM site, the agency revealed the most likely victims are those who “underwent a background investigation through OPM in 2000 or afterwards.”
In short, if you filled out a form SF-86, Questionnaire for National Security Positions; SF-85, Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions; or SF-85P, Questionnaire for Public Trust Positions, your records are toast. Or, as OPM put it, “it is highly likely that you are impacted by the incident involving background investigations. If you underwent a background investigation prior to 2000, you still may be impacted, but it is less likely.”
Before we get into the details of the plan that’s to make this all better, you should know what’s been revealed. These “records include identification details such as Social Security Numbers; residency and educational history; employment history; information about immediate family and other personal and business acquaintances; health, criminal and financial history; and other details.”
There are calls for Katherine Archuleta, director of the federal Office of Personnel Management, to resign. She said she has no plans to step down and is committed to continuing her work for the agency. One day after saying that, she resigned.
But Archuleta has no background in tech or cyber-security. In the official White House press release on her first day, Archuleta was heralded as “the first Latina” to run the OPM and someone who “[w]ith her breadth of experience as an educator, public administrator, and community leader, Katherine Archuleta possesses an abundance of skills to bring talented people together with different ideas and fresh perspectives to strengthen our federal workforce.”