We are taking steps to continue to modernize and secure our data, applications, and systems. To do this, we are pausing some functions until we complete these steps. For more information and updates, please visit our Cybersecurity Modernization Initiative web page.
Cybersecurity Modernization Initiative
May 3, 2021
The Department of Labor (DOL) manages the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000 (The Act/EEOICPA). Current and former workers in the Nation’s nuclear weapons program, or their survivors, can file claims for compensation if they believe they have an illness due to workplace exposures to hazardous substances or radiation.
Under the Act, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), through our Division of Compensation Analysis and Support (DCAS), provides scientific support for claims through our Radiation Dose Reconstruction Program. DCAS completes radiation dose reconstructions for workers with cancer due to radiation exposure and evaluates Special Exposure Cohort (SEC) petitions.
As part of NIOSH/DCAS’ work completing dose reconstructions and evaluating SEC petitions for workers covered under the Act, the program receives sensitive information.
This sensitive information includes:
- work histories,
- medical information, and
- other personally identifiable information (PII).
To make sure that all personal data associated with the program receives the highest standards of cybersecurity protection, we are taking steps to continue to modernize and secure our data, applications, and systems.
Recent cybersecurity breaches have highlighted the threat of external attacks on federal government data systems. For this reason, we review and update our data, applications, and systems that serve our claimants. This ensures the continued protection of sensitive personal data. We must pause some functions of our program during this review. DCAS is committed to completing this work as quickly as possible.
Effective May 3, 2021, there will be a pause in some data transfers between DCAS, DOL, and the Department of Energy (DOE) as we proceed with the important cybersecurity modernization.
This includes a hold on:
- receiving new or rework case referrals from DOL,
- returning completed dose reconstructions to DOL, and
- receiving individual and site-specific dosimetry information from DOE.
This pause is estimated to last two to four months. DCAS will provide regular updates during this period on our website. We anticipate most of the program’s core functions will resume after the review is completed.
During this vital cybersecurity modernization initiative, we will continue to prioritize SEC petitions. Also, our contractor, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, will continue to process the dose reconstructions already in the system.
We appreciate your patience as we complete this important review. Protecting our sensitive data is a top priority. Our efforts will enhance our data security for many years to come.
DCAS developed the FAQs: Cybersecurity Modernization Initiative page on our website to help answer questions about this review. If you have more questions that are not covered on the FAQs page, please visit the Contact Us page for information about how to reach us during this effort.