New Data Encryption Standards:
How to comply with new data
What is Mass. Data
Encryption Law 201 CMR 17.00?
Does CheckWriter help with compliance?
Arizona was the first state to enact a data security law
regarding transmission of information outside the company's
network, but now Massachusetts has passed the Massachusetts Data
Encryption Law 201 CMR 17.00.
What is this law in a nutshell?:
It states that all 'sensitive' information stored on a laptop,
or in an environment where employees, or anyone else, will have
access, must be secured with a minimum of a password protection
using at least 7 characters.
Failure to comply can result in fines of $5,000 per breach.
This means if you have a copy of an older CheckWriter where the
database does not have a password protection, or if you don't
use your password protection and you have a version that does
support it, you are liable for the information if it is stolen.
Lets say you have CheckWriter™
5.1 or older, with no password protection on your PC at your home and you
have 250 clients in your database.
Next, your daughter's boyfriend opens
with no password when he is using your machine to do
homework. Then he copies the data to a thumb drive and
brings it to school the next day to sell it to his brother's
friend for $100.
Next, the data is used to compromise one or
more client's account information and the kid is caught by the
police with the thumb drive containing unsecured data that was
obtained from your machine.
Next, the assistant district attorney will
then add up how many records were in your database, (250), and
multiply this, "number of violations" by $5,000, to get the
fine of $1,250,000.000 ($1.25M).
This example can apply to a disgruntled employee, a remote
support contractor, an "IT guy", the DSL service tech, cleaning
staff, or anyone else that has access to the PC with CheckWriter
Benefits to using 7.1 with password
protection and encrypted backup:
Comply with local, state and federal laws that are hitting the
books. Be sure your software is up to date and you use a
password with at least 7 characters to protect your data.
If you have multiple users, be sure to
upgrade to the Network Edition which allows individual lock out
functions for sensitive data as required in the new Data
Security Laws. Here are the Massachusetts requirements.
This does not just apply if you are in Massachusetts, but if you
have the records of anyone from Massachusetts.
System Security Requirements
Every person that owns, licenses,
stores or maintains personal information about a resident of the
Commonwealth and electronically stores or transmits such
information shall include in its written, comprehensive
information security program the establishment and maintenance
of a security system covering its computers, including any
wireless system, that, at a minimum, shall have the following
(1) Secure user authentication
(i) control of user IDs and
(ii) a secure method of assigning and selecting
passwords consisting of at least seven letters and numbers;
(iii) control of data security passwords to ensure
that such passwords are kept at a location separate from
that of the data to which such passwords permit access;
(iv) restricting access to active users and active
user accounts only; and
(v) blocking access to user identification after
multiple unsuccessful attempts to gain access or the
limitation placed on access for the particular system;
(2) Secure access control
(i) restrict access to
records and files containing personal information to those
who need such information to perform their job duties; and
(ii) assign a unique identification plus a password,
which is not vendor supplied, to each person with computer
CheckWriter Software Upgrade:
software can help you to comply with these standards and
regulations if you upgrade to the new 7.1 version. The
Network Edition can help to assign multiple user logins with
separate permissions. The Single User Version will allow
full compliance with current and proposed laws.
Click the upgrade link at the top of the page to take full
advantage of the protections provided by the 7.1 version.
It could save you millions in fines.
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