VA Launches CRISP: Continuous Readiness in Information Security Program


After a decade of war, more than 1 million active-duty military personnel are expected to join the ranks of America’s 22 million Veterans over the next five years. To ensure they, and every other generation that has safeguarded the Nation, receive the high-quality care and benefits they have earned, VA relies on a sophisticated network of information technology systems.

While our IT infrastructure is highly efficient and modern, it is also the target of, and vulnerable to, increasing cyber threats and potential attack.

Others seek to exploit sensitive information at the expense of our mission. Veterans have suffered the consequences of careless information security practices, including unintended exposure and loss of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). We can, and must, do better for the sake of those we serve.

To ensure we protect sensitive Veterans’ information, VA’s Office of Information Technology has launched the Continuous Readiness in Information Security Program—CRISP. The program will transform how we access, protect, and transfer information within and outside the Department.

Through CRISP, we have created a three-pronged approach to improve the way we look at information security. First, the program will ensure that those who are on VA systems have the appropriate level of access. Second, the program will establish clear, documented contingency plans for data breaches, which will be regularly tested and improved. Last, the program will launch accessible, tailored, online information security training for all VA employees, volunteers, contractors, and affiliates.

The trust Veterans have in us as a department and as individuals depends on our ability to constantly and consistently protect their information from exposure and ever-increasing cyber risks. Securing information is the responsibility of everyone. I encourage all VA employees, contractors, and affiliates to help us implement CRISP actions by 1 April. Together, we can and will safeguard the information that is vital to serving our Veterans.

Thank you.

Eric K. Shinseki

Note: To all our VSO’s / MSO’s, Volunteers who have access or contact to our computer system and any kind of Veteran information, you will be required to go through this training program so all can insure we have the proper tools to safeguard any and all personal information. Some have already voiced concern about this requirement but please remember that we all are responsible for safeguarding any personal information whether in our work place or at home and what this program will do is enhance your awareness for best practice applications. We ask for your support and cooperation with this very important and needed program.

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Tobias, Lori


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