Patricial Barganier is the founder of Barganier and Associates — a national boutique firm that specializes in unclaimed property for Fortune 500 companies.
So what does data security have to do with unclaimed property? EVERYTHING….
In light of yet another recent data breach, by a financial institution nonetheless, it has become even more critical for professionals in the unclaimed property business to think about the implications of data security on the information that is collected and reported to the state agencies. That is, not only data security internally to our own organizations, but also data security of the state agencies or auditors that participate in the unclaimed property compliance process.
The type of data collected to remit an accurate unclaimed property report forces one to consider which departments will and should be “touching” that data. This includes the input of data, the transfer of data, and the storage of data as it is being prepared and as it is remitted to a client or state. Here are a few data security questions to ponder:
How is data stored while it is aging for future reporting?
How is data transmitted internally and externally?
How is data stored after the reports are prepared and submitted to the jurisdictions?
Barganier has always known that it's critical to monitor and analyze data regularly as there is a security risk from a theft or fraud perspective. Now Barganier are seeing that it is just as important to protect that data from the risk of a technology breach.
As a result, Barganier is reflectively thinking about how our clients are served. Barganier is making a significant investment in our technology, our people, and our processes. Our approach and investment provide for a scalable solution that is often used at major corporations.
As Barganier serves major corporations through audit defense, annual filings, and other specific unclaimed property functions, Barganier looks at itself as a unique partner for Fortune 500 organizations and takes our responsibilities seriously. Barganier views ourselves as an extension of the major corporations we serve and should be held to the same data security standards.
Barganier’s Investment in Technology
As part of our investment in IT security, Barganier is undertaking a total reorganization of its processes. While we have been HIPAA compliant for our healthcare clients, we are raising the standards even higher. This 90-day process includes over 70 areas for review and enhancement. The outcome of which is to prepare Barganier for a SOC 2 compliance audit documenting implementation and adherence to the highest data security standards. This is only one of the significant investments being made.
Another significant investment is training our professionals on data protection and monitoring.
Finally, Barganier has increased its levels of cybersecurity insurance which is in addition to the more typical professional liability insurance.
Demand form the Market Place
In years past, Barganier has seen interest from our healthcare related clients for strong data protection compliant with HIPAA standards. Recent data breaches have brought the need for stronger protection to every industry. This is no longer an isolated issue to just a few industries. Everyone has a responsibility to protect client data. Our clients are demanding data security and Barganier is delivering.
Consequently, Barganier’s implementation of SOC 2 compliance and strong IT security training are important steps in our obligation to serve Fortune 500 and other clients.
Barganier hopes to be able to partner with your organization in managing and complying with its unclaimed property obligations.