Verizon Settles for $4.1 Million in Cybersecurity False Claims Case
Verizon Business Network Services, a subsidiary of the telecom giant Verizon (VZ.N), has agreed to pay a substantial settlement of $4.1 million. The settlement comes in response to allegations that the company failed to adhere to required cybersecurity standards, as announced by the U.S. Department of Justice.
The resolution of this case stems from allegations that Verizon's services, which provide secure internet connections and external networks to federal agencies, did not fully comply with three essential cybersecurity controls outlined in contracts spanning from 2017 to 2021. This failure to meet the specified standards raised concerns about the security of sensitive government information and information systems.
Deputy Assistant Attorney General Michael Granston underscored the significance of adhering to cybersecurity standards, stating, "When government contractors fail to follow required cybersecurity standards, they may jeopardize the security of sensitive government information and information systems."
Verizon responded to the settlement by acknowledging that in 2020, it proactively identified and disclosed a potential issue with a managed security service that it offers to certain federal government agencies. Importantly, the company asserted that this potential issue did not result in any security breaches or data breaches.
It is important to note that the settlement does not make any determination of liability. However, the U.S. Department of Justice has extended credit to Verizon and other government contractors who cooperate with investigations, disclose misconduct, and take remedial actions. These actions are seen as vital components in safeguarding the nation against cyber threats.
This settlement highlights the ongoing importance of robust cybersecurity practices in an increasingly interconnected world. With government agencies relying on external partners to provide secure internet connections and network services, ensuring compliance with cybersecurity standards is paramount to safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining national security.
The agreement between Verizon and the U.S. government serves as a reminder to all federal contractors of the critical role they play in upholding cybersecurity standards. It emphasizes the need for constant vigilance, proactive identification of potential issues, and a commitment to swift remediation when necessary.
As cybersecurity threats continue to evolve, the collaboration between government agencies and private-sector partners becomes increasingly crucial. The settlement with Verizon is not only a significant financial commitment but also a call to action for all entities involved in safeguarding the nation's digital infrastructure to remain diligent in their efforts to protect sensitive information and information systems.