As the summer begins to wind down and many executives and employees return from their well-deserved vacations, just over the horizon lies a great deal of challenges in the fields of information security.  Perhaps two of the largest information security-related challenges facing almost every business in New England include the specter of a pandemic event taking full grasp of the entire world and the January 1st effective date of the Massachusetts Data Protection Law.

As far as the H1N1 (swine flu) virus goes, the effects of many people becoming ill, the potential of the flu becoming more potent, and public fear surrounding the outbreak will undoubtedly have a noticeable impact on virtually every business.  This goes well beyond encouraging your employees to wash their hands for twenty seconds and putting hand sanitizer in places of business interaction.  Executives will have to ask themselves:  “What do I have to do if 40% of my staff—and 40% of everyone else’s staff—is out sick?”  With employees sick or taking care of families if schools are closed for social distancing purposes, this is a distinct possibility.  It presents a wide range of challenges regarding your ability to continue business operations.

The Massachusetts Data Protection Law, going into effect on January 1st, presents an equally-daunting challenge.  This law requires an aggressive standard of logical and physical controls to protect every piece of personal identifiable information pertaining to a Massachusetts resident in an enterprise.  The enterprise doesn’t have to be in Massachusetts to be subject to this regulation if it has a Massachusetts resident’s name with a social security number, government-issued ID number, financial account number, or credit/debit card number.

Both of these issues are bound to give businesses across all sectors a fair share of headaches.  As evidenced by past posts on the GraVoc News Blog, GraVoc Associates has devoted time and effort to stay on top of both of these impending challenges.  For many years, GraVoc has helped clients design pandemic event plans and has helped these plans remain effective through testing.  The GraVoc information security practice is built on the foundations of achieving compliance with strict regulations and keeping clients’ information safe from both outsiders and malicious insiders.

GraVoc Associates, Inc, celebrating 15 years on the North Shore outside of Boston, is committed to helping clients in their three practices of information systems, information security, and professional and technological services.  The information security practice historically has worked extensively in the highly-regulated financial industry.  For more information on the products and services provided by GraVoc, please visit

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