The Federal Trade Commission, better known by its acronym-FTC-is an independent agency of the United States in charge of enforcing security standards and promoting consumer protection.
Do you know the rules established by the FTC? These standards are intended to protect customer information, better known as The Safeguards Rule.
Today, financial institutions use cloud platforms for various tasks and these include handling personal information from customers that require protection. Accounting firms are an example of financial institutions that use and rely on cloud platforms.
Does your accounting firm maintain updated and reliable security measures?
Elements Required by the Information and Security Program (ISP)
The Safeguards Rule entails financial institutions to comply with a list of rules. That being said, financial institutions tasked with maintaining the security of customer data for less than 5,000 consumers must meet the following requirements:
- Encoding data in transit or at rest. All sensitive or confidential information must be protected by strong algorithms, both in storage and transmission.
- A multifactor authenticator. A two-factor access method should be used to limit access to people, or authorized users, to confidential customer information.
- Secure deletion of data. Any sensitive or confidential information that needs to be removed needs to be disposed of appropriately.
Here are the rest of the requirements that must be integrated into your company to improve its security measures:
- Conduct an assessment to identify potential risks affecting customer information. The security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information is sensitive and any potential threat must be investigated. As operations change or new risks emerge, this assessment should be updated and kept in writing.
- Have a qualified person for the implementation and supervision of the ISP. A person with experience and the ability to carry out this role should be selected. The qualified person will report to the company's governing body on the company's compliance with its ISP annually.
- These safeguard measures must be designed and implemented to mitigate risks related to the security, confidentiality, and integrity of customer information:
- Implement individual access controls that reflect operational needs.
- Train all staff.
- Monitor all activity by users who have access to customer information.
- Carry out an inventory of all systems, equipment, platforms, and personnel that have access to customer information and the processes of how the information is collected, stored, or shared.
- Establish protocols focused on anticipating changes in the business, possible risks, or new knowledge learned in risk assessment lessons.
- Evaluate any external application used to store, access, or transmit customer information. Any use of external service providers requires monitoring to ensure the appropriate use of the safeguards rule and a contract that specifies the security requirements of that provider.
- Keep the ISP updated. As the risks and the business evolve, it is important that the ISP evolves with it.
- Have an emergency plan as a protection measure in case of possible risks.
Every firm must implement these requirements for the benefit of the company and the protection of sensitive information from clients. Compliance with these regulations will also help every employee understand how sensitive information is stored, transmitted, maintained, and destroyed within the company.
How does Expert Tax ensure compliance with these regulations and the integration of the Safeguards Rule?
How Expert Tax Helps You Comply with the IRS and the FTC
Expert Tax has obtained the SOC 2 Type II audit, which means that it meets high-security standards. This ensures the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of customer data, by being trained to meet these standards and other more rigorous ones that are recommended.
The SOC 2 (Service Organization Control 2) certification is internationally recognized, so the use of our platform provides you with peace of mind and confidence that your information and that of your client's is protected and treated safely.
Do you need more information about the SOC 2 Type II audit? Visit our article Data Security: CEGsoft Successfully Completes the SOC 2 Type II Audit.
Expert Tax is the Reliable Software for your Data
Do you know if your data and documents have reliable security measures? Do you want a solution that provides certainty to your clients that their information is not compromised? With Expert Tax, you can take your accounting firm to the next level of compliance.
Expert Tax is a software that was created for people looking for a program that helps facilitate the process of preparing tax returns. It was also designed to meet the needs of the most important regulators. The app allows you to keep your firm in full compliance with the IRS and FTC in a hassle-free way.
By using Expert Tax, you will have access to an easy-to-use interface that will allow you to efficiently manage your clients' taxes. The software allows you to make and receive real-time updates on helpful resources and changes in tax regulations, so you'll stay up to date with the latest developments.
Visit Expert Tax and elevate your firm to the next level.