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State officials announce new Cabinet-wide cyber-security measures

web posted November 15, 2012

COLUMBIA – Governor Nikki Haley, Budget and Control Board Executive Director Marcia Adams, Division of State Information Technology (DSIT) Director Jimmy Earley and State Inspector General Patrick Maley today announced new cyber-security measures to minimize the risk of cyber attacks and data breaches in state government.

An executive order signed by the governor today directs Cabinet agencies to work with DSIT to implement Network Monitoring to include twenty-four hour a day monitoring as well as intervention and interrupting of unusual events or viruses. The governor also encouraged all non-Cabinet agencies to work with DSIT to identify weaknesses in current network monitoring and implement stronger monitoring services where needed.

A copy of the governor’s executive order is attached. Video of today’s press conference is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGhl5DEDG0M&

Using equipment and trained IT personnel to monitor IT systems around the clock, Network Monitoring identifies potential security breaches, such as the downloading of viruses and malware, collects and monitors network traffic, intercedes and interrupts in real time the download of detected viruses and malware to a specific network computer, and collects and correlates this information across all agencies so that they can better identify trends and common IT vulnerabilities.

Once a potential threat or attack is identified, DSIT will notify the agency and request that agency’s IT staff remove the infected computer from the network and begin remediation action. Agency networks will be monitored around the clock by DSIT staff and by six agency personnel who will be dedicated to this task. The new approach will minimize cost and increase agency knowledge and experience in IT security.

The device DSIT Network Monitoring will employ to intercede and interrupt in real time the download of detected viruses and malware is the Mandiant Intelligent Response (MIR) appliance. A Mandiant product also known as “The Hand,” MIR was put in place at DSIT to help monitor and manage the South Carolina Department of Revenue network in the wake of the breach, and the equipment will be re-positioned to cover all Cabinet agencies.

As of Wednesday morning, the Experian call center set up to assist South Carolina taxpayers had received approximately 775,500 calls and approximately 789,500 signups for Experian’s ProtectMyID program. Access to unlimited fraud resolution beyond the one year enrollment period is included in Experian’s ProtectMyID membership and available to any taxpayer affected by DOR’s information security breach. Taxpayers who sign up for protection will also be notified – by email or letter – about how to sign up for a “Family Secure Plan” if they claim minors as dependents.

Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp offers South Carolina businesses that have filed a tax return since 1998 a CreditAlert product that will alert customers to changes taking place in their business credit file. Even something as simple as a change to a business address or a company officer change would set off an alert to the business owner. The cost will be waived for business filing tax returns since 1998. Business owners can visit http://www.dandb.com/sc/ or they can call customer service toll free at this dedicated phone number 1-800-279-9881.

Experian is offering those impacted South Carolina businesses Business Credit AdvantageSM - a self-monitoring service that allows access to a company’s business credit report and score. South Carolina businesses can sign up for Business Credit AdvantageSM at http://www.smartbusinessreports.com/SouthCarolina.

Gov. Haley reiterated that anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 should take the following steps:
-     Call 1-866-578-5422 to enroll in a consumer protection service. (The call center is open 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM EST on Monday through Friday and 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.)
-      For any South Carolina taxpayer who wishes to bypass the telephone option, there currently is an online service available at http://www.protectmyid.com/scdor. Enter the code SCDOR123 when prompted. South Carolina taxpayers have until the end of January, 2013 to sign up.

Experian’s ProtectMyID™ Alert is designed to detect, protect and resolve potential identity theft, and includes daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus. The alerts and daily monitoring services are provided for one year, and consumers will continue to have access to fraud resolution agents and services beyond the first year.  Complimentary 12-month ProtectMyID memberships available to South Carolina taxpayers affected by the DOR information security breach include:

-    Credit Report: A free copy of your Experian credit report.
-    Daily 3 Bureau Credit Monitoring: Alerts you of suspicious activity including new inquiries, newly opened accounts, delinquencies, or medical collections found on your Experian, Equifax® and TransUnion® credit reports.
-     Identity Theft Resolution: If you have been a victim of identity theft, you will be assigned a dedicated, U.S.-based Experian Identity Theft Resolution Agent who will walk you through the fraud resolution process, from start to finish.
-     ExtendCARE: Full access to the same personalized assistance from a highly-trained Fraud Resolution Agent even after your initial ProtectMyID membership expires.
-     $1 Million Identity Theft Insurance: As a ProtectMyID member, you are immediately covered by a $1 Million insurance policy that can help you cover certain costs including, lost wages, private investigator fees, and unauthorized electronic fund transfers.

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