Senator Lankford Statement on OPM Announcement of Second Large Data Breach

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) issued the following statement on the OPM announcement of a larger data breach of sensitive information, including the Social Security Numbers of 21.5 million individuals. Previously, OPM announced that a separate breach affecting the personally identifiable information of just 4.2 million federal employees or those who applied for federal jobs through USAJobs:

“This OPM data breach is a major national crisis. The lives of 21.5 million Americans and their families across America have been affected by this massive failure. The string of continuing bad news is the result of years of failed cybersecurity policy and a large bureaucratic government that is slow to respond and react to emerging threats. OPM’s historic inability to adapt and upgrade their processes are well documented. This is not an issue of legacy hardware, it is a problem with legacy security processes.

“The White House has the responsibility to protect the sensitive data that has been entrusted to their care. I have already pushed for a complete shift in the government’s mindset on cybersecurity; we must transition from a ‘hoping for the best’ mindset to careful preparation for the worst.”

Lankford is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Regulatory Management and Federal Workforce, which has jurisdiction over federal employees.