The computer systems were old and outdated. In order to do the job that was all of them, the needed to be replaced.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said the inspector general’s office had said earlier that OPM’s computer security was so bad some of the systems should be shut down. His voice rising, Chaffetz told Archuleta, “your systems were vulnerable, the data was not encrypted, it could be compromised, they were right!” Chaffetz went on, “last year they recommended it was so bad that you shut it down and you didn’t and I want to know, why?”
Archuleta said some of the OPM computers were too old to handle encryption, and that shutting down the systems would have created payroll and benefit problems.
But regardless of what the politicians want, there is no magic solution to the problem. Old computers running obsolete code are obsolete regardless of how their operators are treated.
Also testifying today was the U.S. Chief Information Officer, Tony Scott. He told the panel that because of the age of some of the government computer systems, patching the holes was difficult. “In some cases, its very very hard to sort of duck tape and Band Aid things around these systems. It doesn’t mean there’s nothing you can do, but fundamentally it’s old architectures that need to be replaced.”
If the House of Representatives really wants to fix this problem, they need to stop all the talk of cutting funding and open those purse strings.