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SEC Safeguards Rule Part 3

SEC Safeguards Rule Part 3: Software and Tools to Keep Financial Services Compliant

SEC Safeguards Rule Part 3:  Software and Tools to Keep Financial Services Compliant

What IT Security Level Is Acceptable for Financial FirmsComplying with the SEC’s Safeguards Rule means using technology to ensure the protections of your customers’ private information. In part 1 of this series, we outlined 3 ways to meet SEC compliance expectations. In part 2 of this series, security best practices were explained. Here, in part 3, are tips regarding software and other IT tools and how these help with SEC compliance.

Secure transfer of data

The IT environment must be configured to prevent customer data from being sent outside the company’s system without supervisory approval.

Sensitive financial data or credit card information, for example, should be transmitted by using a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or other secure connection. This protects the information while it is in transit. If customer information is collected online, secure transmission needs to be automatic.

Additionally, educate your customers against sending sensitive information like account numbers through email and caution them about unsolicited emails and pop-up messages asking for account information like pins and other personally identifying information. If you must send sensitive information by email over the internet, be sure to encrypt the data.

Office 365 and the Safeguards Rule

Office 365 is widely used and offers financial institutions capabilities to enhance and simplify compliance with the Safeguards Rule. The cloud-based applications take away the stress of updating software and maintaining servers.

Here are just a few ways O365 helps:

Control, compliance, security

Enterprise-quality security and easier data management results in fewer data breaches and compliance risks.

  • 8% reduced compliance costs
  • 7% less time spent on eDiscovery efforts
  • 73% reduction in data breaches
  • 32% decrease in the cost of data breaches

Security and trust

O365 can be configured with numerous features to protect you and your coworkers, keeping your virtual world safe from harm. Email policies prevent employees from clicking or forwarding malicious phishing emails. They can disable the send button when an email contains sensitive information such as a credit card number or Social Security number.

Control Data – With O365, you have complete control of who has access to your data and what level of permissions they have to view, edit or share your information. You can even make data “expire” when content is no longer relevant or revoke access to others as needed.

itSynergy’s professional team works with your financial services team to get all business and technology pieces in place to ensure you have a working, reliable, SEC compliant strategy – contact us at 602-297-2400 or online.

Legal disclaimer: This article is not legal advice. Be sure to check with your legal professional about any and all SEC laws that impact your business.



itSynergy has been providing managed IT services and outsourced technology management to small- and mid-sized businesses for over 20 years. We are seen as trusted technology advisors by clients because we partner with them for success. Our philosophy is that when technology works as it should, it supports and enhances an organization’s ability to accomplish its goals and objectives and meet business growth goals.