Tampa International Reviewed for Potential Security Breach

May 16, 2016
Two information technology employees resigned from Tampa International Airport after a potential security breach which found several wrongdoings, but no criminal activity.

Two information technology employees resigned from Tampa International Airport after a potential security breach.  

Airport staff were alerted of the breach in July via an anonymous email about questionable business practices in the IT department. The alert prompted an internal investigation where a third party IT security firm found sharing of passwords that would allow others to access airport systems, but no other kind of breach or criminal activity.  

After the reports, the two members of the IT staff who resigned were the IT director and manager.  

The manager was accused of sharing security-sensitive passwords and working with this wife on a project, which is against protocol. Other findings in the report show paperwork inconsistencies and unrecorded vacation days. The director was the manager's direct surpervisor.  

"I was very unhappy when this happened," Lopano told Tampa Bay Times. "It's unacceptable. But the people involved are gone." 

Lopano worked with the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority's general counsel, Michael Stephens, to investigate the department.  

"It was made clear at no time did any unauthorized people have access to secure information," Stephens told Tampa Bay Times. "The statute that governs data breach in Florida is very specific and it requires notification to the attorney general and the state. But there was nothing found in this incident that would indicate that there has been a violation of the statute." 

Lopano also told the Hillsborough County Aviation Authority on Monday that he  hired two outside firms to examine the IT security functions: Vaco Risk Solutions for $127,400 and Plante Moran for $80,000.  

"After reviewing the progress made since January, I am dedicating even more resources to accelerate a comprehensive IT review," Lopano told Tampa Bay Times.