Employee Benefits News examines legal developments that impact the employee benefits and executive compensation employers provide, including federal and state legislation, rules from federal...
By Sean Forbes
Aug. 24 — Strategies to mitigate damage from cybersecurity hacks have changed little over the past dozen years, while anti-hacking technology and tools to prevent attacks are out of date not long after they’re introduced, witnesses told the ERISA Advisory Council.
From 2004, when the not-for-profit Open Web Application Security Project Foundation released its first 10 Ten list of web application security risks, to 2014, when it released an updated Top 10, seven of the risks remained the same, Tim Oxborough-Powell, practice head of governance, risk and compliance at Tata Consultancy Services in New York, told the council Aug. 24.
Foundation documents show that the risks go by such arcane names as “cross-site scripting” and “broken authentication and session management.”
However, Oxborough-Powell said, the greatest risk is “people, people and people.”
A mere checklist approach to cybersecurity won’t prevent attacks, he said. Instead, an effective information security program must focus on people, and must be incorporated into employees’ regular activities, he said. He said an effective program must be:
The ERISA Advisory Council holds meetings each year to develop recommendations for the Department of Labor on guidance on employee benefit plans. It is focusing this year on lifetime retirement plan participation and plan cybersecurity.
One of the questions regarding cybersecurity with which the council is wrestling is how to maintain security when information is shared between the plan sponsor and its vendors and subvendors.
Kevin Stadmeyer, technical program manager at Google Inc. in San Francisco, recommended a free resource from his company for dealing with outside vendors, called the Vendor Security Assessment Questionnaires.
Rebecca McQuilling, a systems engineer, also at Google, said that data encryption must be a default setting. In addition, contracts must include provisions that require vendors to do their due diligence in maintaining data security, she said.
McQuilling also emphasized that technology that works today won’t work tomorrow. “Security isn’t static. It will change from year to year,” she said. Therefore, constant security audits are needed, she said.
One of the council members, Jeffrey G. Stein, general counsel for the 1199SEIU Funds in New York, asked one of the witnesses, Daniel Nutkis, founder and chief executive officer of the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST), about the overarching concern the council was facing: “Is what we’re doing helpful? Are we headed the right direction?”
Nutkis said the council’s recommendations to the DOL shouldn’t add yet another direction to those already in practice, and that ultimately the solution isn’t technological.
The Chicago-based print company RR Donnelley, for example, had to go through 1,400 different security assessments each year, none of which looked the same, Nutkis said. Taking 1,400 approaches “is counterintuitive and counterproductive” and was a leadership issue, not a technology issue, he said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Sean Forbes in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jo-el J. Meyer at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)