LAN Systems
July/August 2009
God Bless America!
When you give your driver's license or credit card to someone, do you wonder if it's really safe? Carelessness with your personal information can be as much of a threat to your identity as the scoundrel trolling for victims.  Experts tell us to analyze security threats, vulnerabilities and consequences. But even if we are vigilant about protecting our confidential data, there is no guarantee that third parties will provide the same level of security.
Starting August 1, financial institutions and creditors must comply with the Red Flag Rules.  These requirements are intended to detect, prevent, and mitigate instances of identity theft. The term creditor is broadly applied in the requirement and includes businesses that may not consider themselves creditors.  The FTC How-To Guide for Business includes guidance.
See our guest article by expert Michael Hill on Identity Theft and Employer Liability.
In this issue, we continue with our discussion of Top IT Trends of 2009 with Electronic Document Management.
Electronic Document Management Lots of files
In its simplest form electronic document management is a digital file that is saved for future retrieval.  The document may have always been electronic or it could have been scanned from a paper copy. It can be from email, word processing, a camera image or an original official document.  Once it is entered and cataloged electronically, you will use the Document Management System (DMS) to store, cross-reference and distribute.
DMS can be a simple filing system that allows you to organize your information or it can be an enterprise work flow systems that uses complex algorithms to ensure that a task with all the supporting documentation flows through the organization.  Security, digital signatures and disaster recovery are all easily included in today's systems. These sophisticated systems are called Content Management System (CMS) and used interchangeably with DMS. As you will notice when researching these systems, they go by many names.
DMS saves time and paper.  With the proper preparation and training, any size organization can reduce or eliminate its reliance on paper systems. The move to electronic document management systems also gives you a chance to review your manual procedures and eliminate wasteful steps.
All you need to get started is a good scanner and a method for storing the electronic documents.  
A few systems that clients like:
If you need help deciding on a strategy and system, just call or email

Identity Theft and Employer Liability

By Michael Hill

What do you think of when someone says "Identity Theft"?
Identity TheftMost people think of credit reports, credit cards and bank accounts. We see television commercials pushing "free credit reports" to solve the problem.  Banks and credit card companies are bragging about their theft deterrence systems and zero liability programs. There's even one company that will "guarantee" your identity will not be stolen!

Unfortunately, it's just not that simple. The fact is there is no realistic way to stop identity theft in the world we live in today. Here's why:

FIRST, our personal information is already irretrievably "out there", in the hands of hundreds (maybe thousands) of businesses, schools, healthcare providers and government agencies. We are all literally at the mercy of those organizations to keep our information safe.

SECOND, while financial Identity Theft can be devastating, it's only a small part of the story.  Almost 75% of all Identity Theft is in other areas- your driver's license, your So­cial Security number, your medical information (the fastest growing area of ID theft), and Criminal ID theft (crimes committed in your name). And many of the trends in today's society (like immigration, the weak economy, the credit crisis, and the health insurance crisis) are throwing gasoline on the Identity Theft fire.    


But Identity Theft is not only an issue affecting individuals.  As awareness grows, companies across the country in virtually all industries are facing new laws and liability risks. With over 51% of data breaches occurring in the workplace, the FTC perceive the behavior of companies in protecting the personal information entrusted to them as the predominant cause of identity theft risk, and the only area where they can force improvement.   


Identity Theft is not just about someone else. It is about a company, their employee's and their customer's DATA. It is about a problem that has gone ballistic. And the government has said, since they can't stop it, employers must now become responsible for the data they handle.  It is the fastest growing white collar crime in America and is now more profitable than illegal drug trafficking.  Every week, we now see extensive publicity surrounding substantial security breaches - in all kinds of industries - from small and large companies.


Just this year, the law of identity theft changed dramatically - and we can expect more laws to continue and expand.  One such law went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008 with mandatory compliance by August 1, 2009.  This law, the FACTA Red Flag Rule, is a provision of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Act of 2003.  The Red Flag Rule is designed to strike at identity theft in its earliest stages and requires virtually every company to develop and deploy an Identity Theft Prevention Program that detects, prevents and mitigates Identity Theft.  Plus, the law directs that businesses be sure that the companies they do business with; also have a plan in place. That's why everyone will soon be hearing about the rules.


In order to have a credible legal defense, business owners must educate themselves and their employees on the applicable data breach & identity theft laws and take proactive steps to change the behavior of their company and their employees regarding the handling of sensitive information. 



1. Appoint, re-appoint, in writing, an Information Security Officer  

2. Develop a written plan and policy to protect all non-public information for employees and customers including identity theft red flags

3. Hold mandatory training meetings for all employees

4. Oversee service provider arrangements - before outsourcing any of your business functions - payroll, web hosting, data processing, insurance, cleaning company, CPA, attorney, BA's, etc, - investigate the company's data security practices. Your liability follows your data.

5. Mitigation plan for employees and/or customers


Michael Hill is a Certified Identity Theft Risk Management Specialist, Privacy Professional and a professional speaker where he specializes in assisting businesses with compliance obligations in these areas.  You may contact him at (404) 216-3751 or by email at; WWW.IDTHEFT101.NET; Twitter - @idtexpert

Spyware removal & registry protection
We like Advanced SystemCare for spyware removal and registry protection.  Download the free version or you can purchase Pro from their website.
If you have a chronic infection that requires help or just have questions, contact the LAN Systems Helpdesk at 770 662-0312.  Just call - we'll be there!
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