West Virginia agency outsources for a systems vulnerability assessment

West Virginia agency outsources for a systems vulnerability assessment

One of Jim Weathersbee's first acts as deputy information security officer for West Virginia's Health and Human Resources Department was to hire Backbone Security.Com Inc. to give him an independent view of the department's IT system.

Weathersbee took the post in July. 'You cannot properly assess your own vulnerability,' he said. 'Backbone will look at the system from both an outsider's and insider's point of view and help us address those vulnerabilities.'

Backbone, of East Stroudsburg, Pa., started its assessment in August, and Weathersbee expects a detailed report later this month. He said Backbone likely will recommend security training for department users.

'Our goal is to increase awareness of the state users,' he said. 'If they can be the first to notice something is not right or just different, then we will have a better chance of stopping problems before they get out of control.'

The high degree of sensitivity of the information the department gathers and uses was a major reason to hire an outside company, Weathersbee said.

The agency's biggest concerns are disgruntled employees and outside hackers attacking the system, he said.

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