Monday, July 27, 2009

Compliance for 201 CMR 17.00 is going to take a little time... We have written out a Guideline for your Timeline!

201 CMR 17.00: Standards for the Protection of Personal information of Residents of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

"This regulation implements the provisions of M.G.L. c. 93H relative to the standards to be met by persons who own, license, store or maintain personal information about a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts." (Purpose MGL c 93H)

Designate an Information Security Officer - You will need to designate at least 1 person at your place of business who will maintain the comprehensive information security program. Finding that person now, will help get the rest of the items in line for when they need to be done. You can get a compliance checklist at: 201 CMR 17.00 Compliance Checklist


Start Assessing Your Information:

  1. Identify the paper, electronic and other type records, including storage media, laptops and portable devices that contain personal information.**

  2. Check all anti-virus and security patches on all computer systems and servers -- make sure they are up to date.**
    a. Check that you have reasonably up-to-date versions of system security agent software (including malware protection)**

  3. Identify what "personal information" moves around your business and out of your office including:**

    a. healthcare/insurance information

    b. benefits/401K information

    c. Accounting/Tax information

    d. Employment and Credit Applications

    e. Checks and credit card information

  4. Identify persons who need to see the "personal information" and those who do not.

  5. Identify where encryption for personal information is needed.**

  6. Identify what third-party service providers your business may use that have access to personal information.

  7. Identify reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to paper and electronic records containing personal information.**

  8. Identify any systems that are connected to the Internet and make sure the firewall protection for files containing personal information are up-to-date.**


Purchase any hardware or software upgrades that are needed**

  • Get control of user IDS and other identifiers**

  • Come up with a reasonably secure method of assigning/selecting passwords for users**

  • Start developing your WISP (Written Information Security Program) making sure that you include:

    a. Administrative, technical and physical safeguards for Personal information protection

    b. Make sure that your WISP is applicable to all records containing personal information
    about a resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

    c. Any identified and reasonably foreseeable internal and external risks to paper and electronic records

    d. Regular and ongoing employee training, and procedures for monitoring employee compliance

    e. Disciplinary measures for violators

    f. Policies and procedures for when and how records containing personal information should be kept, accessed or transported off your business premises

    g. Processes for blocking terminated employees physical and electronic access to personal information, including deactivating their passwords and user names

    h. Steps taken to verify third party service providers access

    i. The length of time that you are storing records containing personal information.

    j. Specifically the manner in which physical access to personal information records is to be restricted

    k. Whether you are storing your records and data in locked facilities, storage areas or containers and the security measures taken to keep these areas secure

    l. Actions and documenting that is taken in connection with any breach of security

  • November

    1. Install all hardware and software upgrades**

    2. Test policies that have been written

    3. Start Training Employees on new policies

    4. Finalize WISP


    1. Finish Training Employees
    2. Send out WISP Policy to all Employees and get signatures from all, verifying they understand and will comply

    January 1, 2010 and beyond

    1. Continue monitoring your systems and procedures**

    2. Continue providing training to new and existing employees

    3. Update policies as required

    4. Assure all computers and servers remain up-to-date with patches and anti-virus software**

    **There are many intricate requirements and rules involved with this law that have left many companies in Massachusetts with questions. NSK Inc. has formed a knowledgeable team to better assist with clarifying this law. If you have questions please fill out this form or contact:Danielle Carroll at 617.303.0480

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