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FTC Slams Companies for Failure to Adopt Cybersecurity Measures

FTC Slams Companies for Failure to Adopt Cybersecurity Measures - top government contractors - best government contracting event

FTC Slams Companies for Failure to Adopt Cybersecurity Measures - top government contractors - best government contracting eventThree companies reselling consumers' credit reports have agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that they did not take adequate measures to protect consumers' personal information, failures that allowed hackers to access that data.

In an announcement posted on its website, FTC said the settlements require the companies to strengthen their data security procedures and submit to audits for 20 years.

“These cases should send a strong message that companies giving their clients online access to sensitive consumer information must have reasonable procedures to secure it,“ said David Vladeck, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Had these three companies taken adequate steps to ensure the use of basic computer security measures, they might have foiled the hackers who wound up gaining access to extensive personal information in the consumer reporting system.“

According to FTC, the three resellers purchased credit reports from consumer reporting agencies and combined them into reports they then sold to mortgage brokers and others to determine consumers' eligibility for credit. Due to their lack of security policies and procedures, the companies allegedly allowed clients without basic security measures, including  firewalls and updated antivirus software, to access their reports.

As a result, hackers were able to access more than 1,800 credit reports. Even after being notified about the data breaches, the companies “did not make reasonable efforts to protect against future breaches,” FTC said.

The resellers are SettlementOne Credit Corporation and its parent company, Sackett National Holdings Inc.; ACRAnet Inc.; Fajilan and Associates Inc., doing business as Statewide Credit Services; and Robert Fajilan. They have been charged with violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act, as well as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Safeguards Rule.

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