New Federal Data-Protection Guidelines Unveiled

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Following a series of seemingly nonstop theft-of-data problems from quite a few government agencies recently (Veterans Affairs, IRS, Agriculture, Federal Trade Commission and the Navy), the White House has given agencies 45 days to implement new safety procedures, the Washington Post reported today.

The new security guidelines were issued today (Wed., June 28) from the White House Office of Management and Budget. The agencies will have to encrypt all data on laptop or handheld computers unless the data are classified as "non-sensitive" by an agency's deputy director.

Agency employees also would need two-factor authentication -- a password plus a physical device such as a key card -- to reach a work database through a remote connection, which must be automatically severed after 30 minutes of inactivity.

To read the full Washington Post story, please click here.