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Sacramento ARMA Records Knowledge Conference Event Recap

Conferences, Cyber Security, Data Management, Government, Information Security, Information Technology, Innovation in the Public Sector, IT Modernization, IT Security, KAI Partners, Public Sector, Ransomware, Risk Assessment, Sacramento, Technology

By Jamal Hartenstein, JD, CISSP, CGEIT, PMP

The Greater Sacramento Capitol Chapter of ARMA recently held its annual Records Knowledge Conference, which brought together records managers from city, county, and state clerk offices.

According to our local ARMA chapter, ARMA is dedicated to providing education and resources to those in the Records Management and Information Governance fields. They are committed to enhancing Records Management and Information Governance professionals through training, networking, leadership, and outreach.

The conference attendees brought a sense of eagerness to learn and share—ARMA chapter leadership gave event attendees a special opportunity to hear from world-class speakers—including and a lead researcher on the IBM Watson project, Dr. Ashish Kundu—on some of the most important and cutting-edge topics.

Along with a formidable group CEOs, I was honored to be asked to speak about Cybersecurity Threats to Information Governance. Highlights of the event and major takeaways included:

  • Understanding what data you have, who accesses it, and where it goes is paramount.
  • Conflicts among document retention policies, industry best practices, and laws suggest that we seek out and use the highest common denominator.
  • Trending topics and buzzwords the government sector include players like Smart Communities, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Digital ID, Blockchain, NIST, and the KAI Partners approach to security assessments.
  • Data Migrations are underway. Records Managers who respond to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for public records or subpoena must deliver records formats adhering to general business practices, which may be legacy.
  • Regarding Third Party Risk Management (TPRM), cloud services, and Business Associate Agreements, liability points back to the data controller regardless of contracts with data processors or third parties.
  • Mobile device management and data/device ownership remain a point of contention and confusion during public record requests.
  • Innovation is forcing a cultural shift in workforce demands and understandings of emerging technologies.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions can be used to categorize and classify data, performing some of the tasks of current Data Custodians and Data Owners.
  • While AI may not replace Records Managers, Records Managers who understand and embrace AI will inevitably replace those who do not.

Public sector IT innovation and modernization means systems and processes change rapidly. One example of this is California Assembly Bill 2658, recently signed into law by the governor. This new law updates the definition of an Electronic Record to include blockchain and smart contracts as legally recognized records. It sends a clear signal that digital records management, particularly blockchain technology and smart contracts, are priorities for a more innovative and dynamic public sector.

This new law impacts public records requests because entries logged in public agency-owned private blockchains are electronic records. These records are susceptible to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Records Managers may benefit from technology that makes the identification and delivery of public records to requestors easier. It may also create convenience for those exercising Public Records Act (PRA) requests. It’s a double-edged sword; it streamlines the processes but increases PRA volume at the same time.

The discussion of the California blockchain law was one most important topics discussed at the ARMA event. Another popular topic was IT Security Assessments.

The urgency in public sector data governance and records management is an incredible opportunity to embed IT security controls for the public sector personnel working at the heart of the ever-expanding challenges.

KAI Partners performs security assessments to address the multitude of challenges facing the public sector. Our assessments help ensure secure and efficient delivery systems where the organizational objectives align with the development of strategic plans and programs. In addition, KAI Partners’ training division—KAIP Academy—works to address technical skills gaps. Our training courses include ITIL, Project Management, Agile/Scrum, and more.

Were you at the ARMA Conference? What were your biggest takeaways about public sector innovation?

About the Author: IT Security Program Manager at KAI Partners, Jamal Hartenstein is a cybersecurity legal expert who has helped some of the country’s largest financial institutions, healthcare companies, and federal agencies develop their IT Security Roadmap programs. In his current role, Jamal provides guidance to executive staff and security professionals on laws, frameworks, and policies that help shape their strategic plan, and helps organizations innovate safely and securely. Prior to working for KAI Partners, Jamal served as an Electronic Warfare Sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps, where he was a steward for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) framework. He earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Military College and his Juris Doctorate from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in California.

Why you need IT Security Services

Cyber Security, Information Security, Information Technology, IT Security, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Public Sector, Ransomware, Risk Assessment, Sacramento, Technology

By Jamal Hartenstein, JD, CISSP, CGEIT, PMP

If organizations don’t have IT Security governance, risk management, and compliance measures in place, they are susceptible to breach, dissemination of data, or regulatory violations that can cripple the organization.

Case in point: The California Attorney General’s office filed a legal claim against an airline company for not having a privacy policy for their smart-phone app.

A regulatory violation (i.e., if an organization does not meet deadlines for disclosures) can mean legal penalties. Enterprises without an IT Security Strategic Plan are poorly suited to assess and manage IT related risks, in alignment with business objectives.

In any of these events, consequences include brand/reputational damages, increased cybersecurity insurance premiums, legal fees, and injunctions.

In addition to those risks, there’s a regulatory component to IT Security—the state of California mandates periodic risk assessments for public sector groups at the state, county, and city levels. To keep up with ever-changing mandates and to successfully meet regulatory mandates, you might need Strategic Risk Management Planning.

So, where do you begin to start this planning and make sure your organization is protected?

KAI Partners is your one-stop shop for IT Security services.

Whether public sector, private sector, non-profit, or small business, KAI Partners can offer IT Security services that allow your organization to operate and innovate safely.

Our IT Security services help ensure that the software, hardware, and policies you implement not only protect your organization, but also mitigate the threat of catastrophic litigation.

Members of the KAI Partners IT Security team hold credentials in Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP), Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Certified ScrumMaster®, Certified in the Governance of Enterprise Information Technology (CGEIT), CompTIA Security+, Network+, Project+, A+, Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP), and more.

KAI Partners works together with Chief Information Officers, Chief Information Security Officers, Chief Technology Officers, IT Security Managers, vendors, and other strategic partners to help your organization create and implement a comprehensive IT Security plan.

Some of KAI Partners’ IT Security services include:

  1. Strategic Planning Development, aligned with IT Security Roadmap Program planning
  2. Security Operations and Subject Matter Expert Staff Augmentation
  3. Independent Security Assessments
  4. IT Security Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC)

Legislation, regulations, and policy shape the way organizations conduct business today. The laws have a hard time keeping up with technology—and technology has a hard time keeping up with threats. KAI Partners can help you create and implement IT Security practices that are unique to your business objectives and help protect the privacy of your organization.

Interested in learning more about how KAI Partners’ IT Security services can help your organization stay safe and compliant? Contact us today!

About the Author: IT Security Director at KAI Partners, Jamal Hartenstein is a cybersecurity legal expert who has helped some of the country’s largest financial institutions, healthcare companies, and federal agencies develop their IT Security Roadmap programs. In his current role, Jamal provides guidance to executive staff and security professionals on laws, frameworks, and policies that help shape their strategic plan, and helps organizations innovate safely and securely. Prior to working for KAI Partners, Jamal served as an Electronic Warfare Sergeant in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Corps, where he was a steward for Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) framework. He earned his undergraduate degree from Georgia Military College and his Juris Doctorate from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in California.

What You Need to Implement a Successful Information Security Framework

Cyber Security, Information Security, Information Security Management System (ISMS), Information Technology, ISO27001, Ransomware, Technology

Information Security

By Julie Kendall

Last time we discussed in more detail the ISO 27001 standard for ISMS. As we wrap up our four-part series today, we’ll discuss what is needed to implement a successful ISMS framework.

What does it take to implement an effective ISMS framework?

First and foremost an Information Security Management System framework such as ISO 27001 can only be effective if executive level management support is unwavering, consistent and ongoing. Without top management buy in and commitment to support a ISMS framework you cannot expect your ISMS to be fully effective.

A centralized direction for all, clearly defined organizational responsibilities related to information security, and resource commitments in staffing and funding is required to ensure the approach to protecting sensitive information assets will be consistent and predictable. Trying to manage such sensitive assets by only relying on personal initiative is asking for trouble.

Information security should also be an integral part of an organization’s overall risk management process. Just as assessing the impact competitors is important for your company’s potential sales, assessing the impact on revenues if customers believe their sensitive data is not well protected is just as important to an organization’s success. Information security objectives must be related to business objectives and the control choices made by management must be based on a cost/benefit analysis so as to ensure the right resourcing and focus is going to the most vulnerable areas associated with sensitive information.

An information security management system must also enable people to do what they need to in a controlled and predictably safe manner. An ISMS is not effective if its implementation stops people from meeting their business objectives or does not provide management any assurance the activities done by staff are predictably safe.

An effective ISMS must also account for continuous improvement and ongoing evaluation.  Business, like life, is ever changing and what works today may not be good enough for tomorrow. The ISMS framework should allow management a formal and regular means to determine if change in the control environment protecting sensitive information is necessary. This assumes regular control evaluations related to information security must be performed and the results analyzed by management so decisions and resources needed to affect change can be done expeditiously. Changes in business objectives and directions, economies, competition, customer satisfaction all contribute to the need to re-evaluate the ISMS for your organization and adjust as needed. New technologies, changes in trading partner needs, previously unknown vulnerabilities all require an organization to re-assess their risk profile as it relates to information security and business overall.

If your digital information is considered a valuable asset to your organization, you need to implement an Information Security Management System to safeguard those assets. Adoption and implementation of an effective, efficient information security management system framework like the ISO 27001 ISMS framework is cost effective and a ‘dollar worth spending,” before your data is lost or damaged.

For assistance in identifying gaps in your information security efforts and what steps you should consider implementing to become compliant with ISO’s 27001 standards, please contact KAI Partners by email info@kaipartners.com. We can help you address the risks associated with information security risks and train your staff to minimize your IS risks.

 About the Author: Co-owner of KAI Partners, Inc., Julie Kendall is an IT Audit Manager with over 40 years’ experience working in project management, IT risk analysis, IT audit testing, Sarbanes-Oxley IT control testing, SAS 70 vendor reviews, and IT audit/control teaching. Julie’s work has focused on IT audit department development consulting, IT risk analysis, IT infrastructure support and application audits, vendor information security testing, IT control identification, IT SOX and ISO 27001 Information Security control compliance consulting/testing, and IT audit software development consulting/project management. Julie has provided training consultation for CISA exam reviews related to IT auditors and management training on a variety of technology controls based on different information security standards, including COSO, SOX, PCI-DCSS, HIPAA, and ISO27001. Her primary focus in the last 10 years has been with the financial services industries, high technology manufacturing, state governments, and digital content production companies.

What You Need to Know About ISO 27001

Cyber Security, Information Security, Information Security Management System (ISMS), Information Technology, ISO27001, Ransomware, Technology

Information Security

By Julie Kendall

Our last post focused on why exactly an ISMS is important to your business. This time, we’re delving into the ISO 27001 standard.

 What is the ISO 27001 Information Security Management System?

ISO 27001 is an internationally accepted risk-based information security management standard requiring active participation by business and IT management in assessing their risks and choosing controls best suited to meet their needs in a cost effective manner. Sometimes this standard is referred to as a ‘controls based’ framework. By requiring an ongoing assessment of risks and evaluation of  the adequacy of controls intended to mitigate the exposures those risks pose, the ISO 27001 framework can provide management with a significant degree of assurance their information is well protected.

A simple look up of ISMS standards in Wikipedia will note, “some best-known ISMSs for computer security certification are the Common Criteria (CC) international standard and its predecessors Information Technology Security Evaluation Criteria (ITSEC) and Trusted Computer System Evaluation Criteria (TCSEC). Some nations publish and use their own ISMS standards, e.g. the Department of Defense (DoD) Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process (DITSCAP) of USA, the Department of Defense Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (DIACAP) of USA, the German IT baseline protection, ISMS of Japan, ISMS of Korea, Information Security Check Service (ISCS) of Korea.”

How does ISO 27001 compare to other ISMS standards?

The ISO 27001 framework has been accepted by organizations large and small throughout the world as an ideal systematic approach for the identification, assessment, and management of information security risks. By implementing these standards an organization will be able to successfully address the confidentiality, integrity, and availability goals of their information assets and in so doing, prevent and/or minimize the negative impacts of security incidents on an organization.

Who should consider implementing ISO 27001 ISMS standards?

Financial institutions, third party IT servicers, health services, public or governmental agencies, and digital content production entertainment companies all have reasons to take information security very seriously. Legal and regulatory requirements aimed at protecting personal or sensitive information compel organizations to devote considerable effort in their management of information security risks.  Intellectual property rights of digitally produced content require third parties to protect the content against unauthorized disclosure or premature distribution so as to ensure expected revenue streams are not negatively impacted. The implementation of ISO 27001 framework standards have been a  proven, effective means to achieving those compliance and revenue objectives for many who chose to adopt them.

Stay tuned for the final part of our four-park series, where we’ll talk about what it takes to implement an ISMS.

For assistance in identifying gaps in your information security efforts and what steps you should consider implementing to become compliant with ISO’s 27001 standards, please contact KAI Partners by email info@kaipartners.com. We can help you address the risks associated with information security risks and train your staff to minimize your IS risks.

 About the Author: Co-owner of KAI Partners, Inc., Julie Kendall is an IT Audit Manager with over 40 years’ experience working in project management, IT risk analysis, IT audit testing, Sarbanes-Oxley IT control testing, SAS 70 vendor reviews, and IT audit/control teaching. Julie’s work has focused on IT audit department development consulting, IT risk analysis, IT infrastructure support and application audits, vendor information security testing, IT control identification, IT SOX and ISO 27001 Information Security control compliance consulting/testing, and IT audit software development consulting/project management. Julie has provided training consultation for CISA exam reviews related to IT auditors and management training on a variety of technology controls based on different information security standards, including COSO, SOX, PCI-DCSS, HIPAA, and ISO27001. Her primary focus in the last 10 years has been with the financial services industries, high technology manufacturing, state governments, and digital content production companies.

Why Do You Need an Information Security Management System?

Cyber Security, Information Security, Information Security Management System (ISMS), Information Technology, ISO27001, Ransomware, Technology

Information Security

By Julie Kendall

Last time, we brought you some facts and figures related to information breaches and their associated costs. Now we’ll get into more detail about why an ISMS is important to your business.

Even with the obvious evidence of significant increase in reputational risk organizations experience in their marketplace when an information security breach occurs, many executive teams still find it difficult to allocate sufficient funds and resources to Information Security consistently.

Some executive management teams expect IT to decide “what resources are necessary” to protect their information and to do it within the existing IT operational budget. Managing information security and its associated risks requires the active participation by all major players in a company because the risk profile of the entire organization is impacted. IT alone can’t make that decision independent of the rest of the organization. All business management must take the lead on assessing IS risks and deciding the appropriate controls to implement to manage those risks. After all, it is the business side that actually owns the data. IT will certainly enable the mitigation strategies, but it is business management that must determine the acceptable level of risks to manage, assume, or transfer.

Why is an ISMS important?

The implementation of a risk-based information security management system (ISMS) framework within an organization is absolutely critical because businesses today rely heavily on their digital data to operate. Management must define a set of information security policies and processes to be followed by all members of their staffs, and implement mitigation solutions to manage the identified risks associated with those assets. The lack of a clear guidance from management on how to mitigate the information security exposures they face regularly can result in inefficient and ineffective actions by their employees.  This then can lead to the likelihood for significant loss when unmitigated vulnerabilities are exploited.

Next time we’ll discuss the ISO 27001, an internationally accepted risk-based information security management standard—stay tuned!

For assistance in identifying gaps in your information security efforts and what steps you should consider implementing to become compliant with ISO’s 27001 standards, please contact KAI Partners by email info@kaipartners.com. We can help you address the risks associated with information security risks and train your staff to minimize your IS risks.

 About the Author: Co-owner of KAI Partners, Inc., Julie Kendall is an IT Audit Manager with over 40 years’ experience working in project management, IT risk analysis, IT audit testing, Sarbanes-Oxley IT control testing, SAS 70 vendor reviews, and IT audit/control teaching. Julie’s work has focused on IT audit department development consulting, IT risk analysis, IT infrastructure support and application audits, vendor information security testing, IT control identification, IT SOX and ISO 27001 Information Security control compliance consulting/testing, and IT audit software development consulting/project management. Julie has provided training consultation for CISA exam reviews related to IT auditors and management training on a variety of technology controls based on different information security standards, including COSO, SOX, PCI-DCSS, HIPAA, and ISO27001. Her primary focus in the last 10 years has been with the financial services industries, high technology manufacturing, state governments, and digital content production companies.

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