SEE BEYOND THE NUMBERS

Are You Sure Your Data is Secure?

You’ve taken the necessary precautions to protect your information from unwanted visitors, but are you absolutely certain your data isn’t being compromised?

Data security breaches are occurring in all types of companies – public, private, large, small, and even governmental agencies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.). According to a recent article in The New York Times, the very entity which governs and oversees the financial market to ensure regulatory compliance may not have given its own employees the same kind of protection it requires of others. To monitor the S.E.C.’s employees’ investments within the Ethics Program System (E.P.S.), the organization hired Financial Tracking Technologies (F.T.T.). F.T.T. was given access to S.E.C. employees’ brokerage account numbers, financial data, and sensitive personal information, and the company subsequently allowed access to its system to a subcontractor and consultant. Although the S.E.C. says it did not grant F.T.T. permission to allow third parties access to its database, F.T.T. argues that it publicly discloses third party permissions on its website concluding that a data breach did not occur in this or any other instance.

This situation still begs the question, “are you sure your data is secure?” If the S.E.C. incidentally risked the security of  imperative information, then how can you be sure your third party providers are not putting your data at risk?

Another surprising move by the S.E.C. is its recent disclosure guidance for public companies to disclose any potential data security breaches having effect on the bottom line, according to the released Cybersecurity disclosure guidance. Therefore, the public will be forewarned about possible compromised data which will be beneficial for investors and the like.

Public, private, large, small – whatever the case may be, you should be taking the necessary precautions to ensure that your data is safe and secure.

Jorge Rey is Director of Information Security for Kaufman, Rossin & Co., one of the top CPA firms in the country. He can be reached at jrey@kaufmanrossin.com.

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