Robert M. Nelson, an ex-NASA/JPL scientist and several other employees were recently notified that due to a epochal data breach that they would be vulnerable to identity theft. According to a report released by NASA this month, a laptop used by a NASA headquarters employee was stolen from a parked car in Washington, DC on Halloween. The New York Times reports November 38th, 2012 that Robert M. Nelson along with 10,000 other current and past employees could be at risk of identity theft giving away personal information such as the employee’s name, birth date, social security number, and background check information. The laptop apparently was password protected, but did contain unencrypted files which would be vulnerable if the password was decoded. The significance of Robert M. Nelson is that he sued NASA in 2007 stating that the agency’s background checks for government contractors were unnecessary and violated their privacy rights. Other supporters noted with Nelson addressing that NASA would not be able to protect the confidential data that was required from each government contractor. According to a document released in October 2009 , the United States Government Accountability Office titled a report “NASA Needs to Remedy Vulnerabilities in Key Networks,” the Government Accountability Office noted that the agency had reported 1,120 security incidents in fiscal 2007 and 2008 alone. “To the extent that Robert Nelson looks like millions of other people working for firms employed by the federal government, this would seem to be a real problem,” stated Marc Rotenberg, the Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center regarding the identity thief situation.
After these problems, NASA has since then hired outside contractors from ID Experts, a specialized data breach company who are in the process of remedying the situation. Since ID Experts have been hired, almost 80% of the NASA’s laptops have been encrypted and the rest are set to be encrypted by December 21st, 2012. For situations that require specialized attention, the US Federal Government will employ federal government registered contractors. According to Government Contracting Tips Blog, the the United States Government is the world’s largest consumer buying billions of dollars of products and services from private businesses. In order to become eligible to receive federal government employment you must be registered in the System for Awards Management (SAM). SAM registration can often take business owners/employees up to 20 hours to fill out and still be rejected even after the fact. US Federal Contractor Registration provides Case Managers who are experts in SAM registration and FEMA Vendor Profiles help businesses easily register and have excellent appeal for federal procurement officers. US Federal Contractor Registration helps businesses register with SAM to become registered for federal government work.
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