Audit Recommends Improvements in Cybersecurity Practices at Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance

BOSTON – Today, in an audit of the Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance’s (MOVA), the Office of State Auditor Suzanne M. Bump (OSA) found that none of MOVA’s employees received cybersecurity awareness training, as required by the Executive Office of Technology Services and Security. The audit, which examined the period of January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2020 recommends that MOVA establish policies and procedures requiring all staff members to receive mandatory cybersecurity awareness training.

“Effective cybersecurity around IT systems should be a top priority at all government agencies, especially in this era where the number of threats from potential hackers is at an historic high. Cybersecurity is particularly important for organizations such as MOVA, which possess such sensitive information. I am pleased to learn that MOVA will be taking measures to ensure that all its staff are all properly trained on how to recognize and prevent cyber threats, as a result of our audit findings,” said Auditor Bump.

The OSA has placed an emphasis on examining cybersecurity awareness training at government agencies. Recently, Auditor Bump has released audits of the Office of the Attorney General, Division of Banks, and Office of the Inspector General, most of which called on these agencies to improve their cybersecurity awareness training practices.

The audit also showed that MOVA is compliant with its legal requirement to print and make available materials explaining victim and witness rights and services for medical facilities, social service organizations, and law enforcement agencies. In addition, MOVA properly administered the operations of the Garden of Peace, a memorial dedicated to victims of homicide.

According to its brochure, the mission of MOVA is to empower all crime victims and witnesses in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. MOVA strives to ensure access to equitable services, across the Commonwealth, which meet the unique needs of those impacted by crime through survivor-informed policy development, fund administration, training, and individual assistance.

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