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An Open Letter to President Obama about Securing Healthcare.gov

Gazzang Offers to Encrypt Healthcare.gov at No Cost to Taxpayers

The following letter was sent to President Obama today by Gazzang CEO Larry Warnock:

Dear Mr. President,

My name is Larry Warnock, and I'm the CEO of Gazzang, a data security software company based in Austin, Texas. Our headquarters are actually right across the street from the Capital Factory which you visited this past May.

I recognize that the healthcare.gov launch hasn't exactly met expectations, and yesterday's news about potential security flaws doesn't make rolling this out to the American people any easier. But what struck me is that the choices you and the Department of Health and Human Services faced during site development are the same ones that many of the world's largest enterprises face every day when deploying new web-based applications. Namely, what is the real cost of security?

By cost, I don't mean price. There's an antiquated notion that data security must come at the expense of usability, site performance and fast deployments and upgrades -- and that somehow, doing everything possible to prevent a breach (and the resulting fallout) is best left for after the site is built and in the final testing phase.

Think about a homeowner. Would someone wait until after their home is burglarized to install an alarm system and put locks on their windows and doors? Of course not. Brick by brick, as a house is constructed, security is implemented. The same must be true when constructing a web site. Security must be considered in every phase of design and development, because today a data breach isn’t merely a threat. It’s a near certainty.

While a breach can be catastrophic, the good news is solutions like data encryption can go a long way toward averting the associated risks and loss of trust.

Gazzang works with hundreds of healthcare, financial and government organizations to ensure customer data remains private and inaccessible to unauthorized parties. We are offering to provide data encryption services for healthcare.gov at no cost to taxpayers. Data encryption simply put takes perfectly readable information and scrambles it in such a manner that no one can read or make sense of the data without the proper permissions. And because of the way our software is architected, there's no cost to site performance or usability either.

Personal information like names, social security numbers, email addresses and employer information -- the type of detail hackers look for, and the type of detail being entered into healthcare.gov -- must be secured at all costs.

Mr. President, this is your chance to win back the public trust.

WHAT WE ASK OF YOU

  • Protect our citizens’ sensitive health information by prioritizing data encryption as a critical component of the healthcare.gov security strategy. Gazzang will provide this solution at no cost to taxpayers.
  • Join me in a call to industry leaders to step up and provide the additional security layers we need for healthcare.gov -- including identity management, vulnerability testing, backup and recovery, authentication and threat detection technologies -- free of charge to the government.
  • Convene a task force of the industry’s best and brightest security innovators to advance state-of-the-art technologies that protect sensitive data and promote digital healthcare initiatives in this country.

Thank you Mr. President. I look forward to joining the cause and helping you solve this problem.

Sincerely,

Larry Warnock
President and CEO
Gazzang, Inc.

More Stories By David Tishgart

David Tishgart is a Director of Product Marketing at Cloudera, focused on the company's cloud products, strategy, and partnerships. Prior to joining Cloudera, he ran business development and marketing at Gazzang, an enterprise security software company that was eventually acquired by Cloudera. He brings nearly two decades of experience in enterprise software, hardware, and services marketing to Cloudera. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

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