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Department of Labor

Department of Labor Cybersecurity Program Best Practices Services

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, record keepers and plan participants on best practices for maintaining cybersecurity, including tips on how to protect the retirement benefits of America’s workers. This is the first time the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued cybersecurity guidance. This guidance is directed at plan sponsors and fiduciaries regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and plan participants and beneficiaries. ERISA requires plan fiduciaries to take appropriate precautions to mitigate the risks of both internal and external cybersecurity threats.

The Employee Benefits Security Administration has prepared the following best practices for use by recordkeepers and other service providers responsible for plan-related IT systems and data, and for plan fiduciaries making prudent decisions on the service providers they should hire. Plans’ service providers should:

  1. Have a formal, well documented cybersecurity program.
  2. Conduct prudent annual risk assessments.
  3. Have a reliable annual third party audit of security controls.
  4. Clearly define and assign information security roles and responsibilities.
  5. Have strong access control procedures.
  6. Ensure that any assets or data stored in a cloud or managed by a third party service provider are subject to appropriate security reviews and independent security assessments.
  7. Conduct periodic cybersecurity awareness training.
  8. Implement and manage a secure system development life cycle (SDLC) program.
  9. Have an effective business resiliency program addressing business continuity, disaster recovery, and incident response.
  10. Encrypt sensitive data, stored and in transit.
  11. Implement strong technical controls in accordance with best security practices.
  12. Appropriately respond to any past cybersecurity incidents.

How Can Compass IT Compliance Help?

Compass IT Compliance is extremely well-versed in assisting plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, record keepers and plan participants in mitigating their cybersecurity risks. Our team of industry experts will perform a risk assessment to the Department of Labor Cybersecurity Program Best Practices. Your organization will be assessed in the 12 areas listed above to determine compliance with each discipline. Our assessment will help to uncover gaps in controls and will outline a clear and prioritized remediation strategy.  Contact us today to discuss your unique situation. Secure. Comply. Save.

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